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PhD fellowship in biology / immunology / life sciences

Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Department of Immunology / Rheumatology
EULAR Center of Excellence

We are an international laboratory for autoimmunity/matrix biology with up to 25 researchers. Our major goals are to identify novel targets/treatment strategies in autoimmune diseases. We have national and international (USA, United Kingdom) cooperation partners in academics and pharmaceutical industry.

We are looking for a highly motivated and outstanding PhD student
to work on a project focusing ETS transcription factor family members in fibrotic  diseases. Fibrotic diseases impose a major socioeconomic burden on modern societies and account for up to 45% of deaths in the developed world. Despite the great medical need, anti-fibrotic therapies are not yet available for clinical use. Fibrosis may occur after defined noxious stimuli, but in many cases no initiating trigger can be identified. Fibrotic diseases can affect virtually every organ system. They can be restricted to single organs as in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), or may affect multiple organs as in systemic sclerosis (SSc). The histopathological feature of SSc is an excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix that often disrupts the physiological architecture of the affected tissue resulting in high morbidity and significantly increased mortality. This necessitates the development of novel targeted therapies to reduce fibrosis and tissue damage. ETS-domain transcription factors interact with a multitude of co-regulatory partners to elicit gene-specific responses and drive distinct biological processes. Interaction with co-regulatory partner proteins seems to be one of the unifying themes among ETS-domain transcription factors. This allows combinatorial control of gene expression and enhances the specificity of action of ETS-domain proteins. However, the implication of ETS-domain transcription factors in fibrotic diseases is still not investigated.  

We provide excellent resources including a fully-equipped laboratory for conducting experiments to analyze matrix metabolism (FACS, Western blot, real-time PCR, nucleofection, siRNA, cell sorting, immunohistochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, ELISA, ChIP, Luciferase assay, CoIP). The student´s project will compromise various in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo systems (genetic and non-genetic mouse models are well established and ready to use). We offer generous travel support for conferences, and an excellent international research network. The project is closely related to projects within the EULAR Center of Excellence.

Required/desired skills:
• graduation at a Master´s level (or equivalent) by the time of application with an above-average university degree (B+ or better; 2+ or better) in biological or biomedical sciences (biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology).
• strong interest in immunology/ autoimmunity and research lab work
• experience in cell culture, molecular biological techniques, and/or animal models is advantageous
• ability to work both independently and co-operatively within an international research team
• excellent written and spoken English
The PhD student is expected to publish his/her results in a high-impact journal. Funding for a 3-year employment is available.
Applications should include:
  • cover letter indicating relevant qualifications
  • curriculum vitae
  • attached school certificate
  • attached university diploma
  • brief summary of practical skills/research experience
  • names of two referees
Applications (in English or German) will be considered on an on-going basis until the position is filled. Please send applications electronically to Dr. Andreas Ramming and Prof. Dr. Jörg Distler. Please do not hesitate to ask further questions:
andreas.ramming@uk-erlangen.de and joerg.distler@uk-erlangen.de

Contact detail

How to apply:
Please send applications electronically to Dr. Andreas Ramming and Prof. Dr. Jörg Distler.
Send application to
Dr. Andreas Ramming and Prof. Dr. Jörg Distler
Department of Immunology / Rheumatology
EULAR Center of Excellence

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Bayern)
Working place
91052 Erlangen
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Pharmaceutics, Human medicine