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PhD position (m/f) in Biolology - stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (Heidelberg, Germany)

Workscope: Research Associate

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The Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology of Heidelberg University, Division of Cardiovascular Physiology (Prof. Dr. Markus Hecker) offers a
PhD position
to work on the functional characterization of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.
Our research aims to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases, particularly those that drive the maladaptive changes of pathophysiological cardiac remodeling ultimately leading to heart failure, and to develop novel strategies for cardiac regeneration and repair using stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Although strictly basic, our research is strongly application-driven with the ultimate goal of exploring new cell-based biomedical strategies for the treatment of heart failure.
The PhD project focuses on the functional characterization of stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes and the identification of parameters that may affect their functional integration into normal and diseased heart tissue. This includes the investigation of the basic cellular mechanisms underlying cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, with special focus on calcium signaling pathways and cell communication, using stem cells at various stages of their differentiation into cardiomyocytes.

You will work with single cells and multi-cellular preparations from animals with a normal genetic background and disease models as well as with human cell lines.The project involves special cell culture techniques, electrophysiological methods and imaging techniques.

Group and Working Environment:
Our international group consists of 6 principal investigators, 5 postdocs and about 20 PhD and MD students. The project will be carried out under the direct supervision of Dr.  Nina Ullrich, who heads a recently established junior research group. She is specialized in electrophysiology and state-of-the-art optical imaging techniques, and collaborates with leading stem cell and cardiovascular research experts in Europe.

Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university and one of the premier centers of biomedical research in Europe, provides ample opportunity for scientific exchange not only within the university, but with other renowned research institutions as well.

  • Tolmachov O. et al., BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2006; 6:25.
  • Ullrich N.D. et al., AJP Heart Circ 2009; 297(6) H1992-2003.
  • Gonzales C. et al., Tissue Eng Part A 2012; (18)198-207.
  • Guex G. et al., IASTED Biomed Eng 2013; 791-080.
  • Brinks H. Et al., J Heart Lung Transplant 2014; 33(2)203-10.
  • Dias P. et al., PloS One 2014; 9(2): e90266.
Methods that will be used:
cell and tissue culture, electrophysiological techniques (e.g. patch clamp), life cell imaging techniques, immunocytochemistry, molecular biology, protein biochemistry
Personal qualifications:
  • Master or diploma in (cell) biology, biochemistry, biophysics or related fields
  • Experience in cellular electrophysiology
  • Knowledge of cell biological and microscopical techniques or willingness to acquire the necessary skills
  • Ability to rapidly familiarize him/herself with new research areas in theory and praxis
  • A specific knack for micromanipulations and technical skills are advantageous
  • Experience in cellular electrophysiology or protein biochemistry is a plus
  • Team-minded, highly motivated and flexible

The successful candidates will be enrolled in the Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (HBIGS) of Heidelberg University, which provides an educational framework for young graduate students, both with a bioscience and with a medical background.
Please submit your application via the HBIGS website (http://www.hbigs.uni-heidelberg.de/main_application.html) by 31 August at the latest.

Project no.: Hecker_SCDC

Contact detail

How to apply:
Please submit your application via the HBIGS website (http://www.hbigs.uni-heidelberg.de/main_application.html) by 31 August at the latest.

Project no.: Hecker_SCDC
Send application to
Dr. Nina Ullrich
Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology
Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 326
69120 Heidelberg

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Baden-Württemberg)
Working place
69120 Heidelberg
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Human medicine, Pharmaceutics