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PhD position in Molecular Biology - Epigenetic mechanisms controlling learning and memory, anxiety & stress coping

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In the field of  “Epigenetic mechanisms controlling learning & memory, anxiety and stress coping” the research group of Prof. Beat Lutz offers the following PhD project:

Uncovering epigenetic components controlling learning and memory in mouse

We aim at understanding the epigenetic mechanisms underlying learning and memory. To this end, mice will be employed in established learning paradigms, e.g. fear conditioning or active avoidance. Relevant brain areas, mainly hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala, of control and conditioned mice will be isolated, and epigenetic marks will be investigated genome-wide or at specific candidate gene loci, using ChIP-seq and/or MeDIP-seq. In order to differentiate the various neural cell types (glutamatergic neurons, GABAergic neurons, astrocytes), distinct EGFP transgenic animals will be used, and different cell types will be isolated by FACS and analyzed regarding epigenetic marks. Next, we will employ the above methods to various mutant mice available in our laboratory. These mouse mutants have characterized learning and memory alterations, and we will ask whether or not epigenetic mechanisms are also altered in these mutants. Furthermore, applying viral techniques, we will overexpress or silence various epigenetic factors (histone acetylases/deacetylases, DNA methyl transferase/demethylases) in distinct brain areas and ask whether these factors are directly involved in learning and memory mechanisms. Altogether, these investigations should shed new light onto how neurons are able “remember” and “forget”.

We offer
•    The possibility to work on a cutting-edge project using state-of-the-art technology in a highly motivated research team
•    A stimulating, diverse and international research environment
•    Advanced training opportunities
•    A competitive stipend

Required qualifications
•    Master or Diploma
•    Motivation to solve complex biological problems
•    Excellent communication skills

Starting date: October 2015 or later
Duration of stipend: 3 years, with the possibility of extension
Deadline for registration (exclusively online via web form):  20 June 2015

Contact detail

How to apply:
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Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz)
Working place
55128 Mainz
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Pharmaceutics