PhD position (m/f) Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry or life sciences

One goal of our institute is to understand the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in regulating proteostasis during production/secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, and cellular proliferation and survival of mast cells (MCs). The UPR is a signaling pathway that emanates from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and serves to adjust the secretory pathway to cellular demand. The UPR comprises three sensor proteins in the ER membrane, whose activation by situations of ER stress causes the induction of respective transcription factors. The following cellular responses can range from adaptation and survival to apoptosis, depending on the strength of the ER stress. In this project, studying stimulus-induced production/secretion of proinflammatory cytokines in murine MCs as well as proliferation of human mastocytosis MC lines,  we will investigate the regulation and function of the UPR sensor IRE-1, which has a serine/threonine kinase and a RNA nuclease domain. For further reading see our recent publications in Oncotarget (doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.23354), in the FASEB Journal (doi:10.1096/fj.201600278), and in Frontiers in Immunology (doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01937). The project is embedded within a highly active and experienced research group and provides multiple options for interactions and for acquiring a broad range of scientific skills.

Activities and responsibilities

The PhD project will involve the use of a wide range of experimental techniques including, amongst others, Western blot, immunopurification, RT-qPCR, cloning, degranulation and secretion assays, proliferation and survival assays, FACS analysis, confocal fluorescence microscopy, genetic manipulation using CRISPR/Cas9, and in vitro differentiation of MCs from knock-out mouse models.

Qualification profile

We are seeking an ambitious, highly qualified and motivated graduate with a strong interest in biomedical research, who should be committed to the advancement of the project. We expect the candidate to hold a Master´s Degree in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry or life sciences and to demonstrate prior knowledge and experience of the aforementioned techniques. The ability to both work independently and to contribute effectively to group projects, as well as an excellent command of IT and of the English language are part of the basic prerequisites


We offer an international scientific community and access to state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratory equipment. Attending weekly seminars, lectures, and project meetings as well as the possibility to participate in national and international conferences/workshops form part of our PhD programme. This GIF grant involves the close scientific interaction with two groups of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, including mutual visitations. The RWTH Aachen University is certified as a family-friendly university and offers a dual career program for partner hiring. We particularly welcome and encourage applications from women, disabled people and ethnic minority groups, recognizing they are underrepresented across RWTH Aachen University. The principles of fair and open competition apply and appointments wili be made on merit.

Send application to

Please send your application, code-no: GB-P-14194 with the usual documents until 19.01.2019 to Prof. Dr. Michael Huber, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Immunology, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstr. 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany. Please do not send originals of the documents as these will not be returned after the end of the selection process.

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: 14194

About Universitätsklinikum Aachen

Die Zukunftschancen des Universitätsklinikums Aachen und der Medizinischen Fakultät der RWTH Aachen beruhen auf der Verbindung von konsequenter Patientenorientierung, effizienter Lehre und innovativer Forschung. Diese geschieht in enger Kooperation mit den ingenieur- und naturwissenschaftlichen Disziplinen der Hochschule. Für die Erfüllung aller Ziele ist wirtschaftliches...

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