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Ph.D position biological imaging

The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) at the University of Dortmund is an interdisciplinary research institute that combines toxicology, immunology, neuroscience, biological imaging and occupational medicine/biology.
The research group Systems Toxicology at IfADo is currently accepting applications for a


for a period of 3 years. The position is part of an international consortium between scientists and medical professionals working on liver disease, making it ideal for aspiring researchers who wish develop a career in systems biology with close links to clinical medicine.

Project description:
Lipid droplet accumulation is the primary cellular phenotype that is interpreted as fat deposition at organ level in steatosis. We focus on the core cellular signal that initiates lipid droplet formation - namely the activation of the small GTPase Rab18. We will utilize ectopic expression of Rab18 and its functional and lipidation mutants in vivo to monitor its effects on the progression of steatosis. This will result in a model that simulates the number, size and kinetics of lipid droplet formation as a function of Rab18 activity and localization. At the same time, these factors will be correlated with lipogenic stimuli. The model will be further enhanced by liver function tests to establish the link between steatosis and organ failure. Finally, the methodologies will be implemented in an in vitro high-throughput format to assess drug toxicity under steatotic conditions which will allow better predictability in clinical ‘acute-on-chronic’ scenarios.

The Ph.D candidate will perform intra-vital 2-photon fluorescence imaging of mouse livers and in vitro fluorescence imaging of hepatocytes to study the Rab18 activation and its relevance to onset and progression of steatosis/steatohepatitis. The candidate is expected to develop animal-handling skills, in vivo and in vitro transfection and imaging expertise. Experience with basic molecular biology- PCR, cloning and fluorescence imaging techniques is desirable. Due to the emphasis on in silico modeling and image processing, candidates with or willing to develop coding; image processing and quantification skills in MATLAB/Python/C/Java/ImageJ will be preferred.


Contact detail

How to apply:
Applications should include a CV, letter of motivation, copy of graduation certificates (university), and contact information for two referees. The working language and the language of the doctoral thesis will be English. Candidates planning a research/academic career are particularly welcome.
IfADo is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on gender, race, colour, religion, national origin, disability, or age in its programs and activities. 
Send application to
The position is immediately available. Please send your application as PDF per e-mail to Nachiket Vartak (Nash@ifado.de) or Silke Hankinson (hankinson@ifado.de) by September 30th.
Alternatively, please mail your application to:
Leibniz-Institut für Arbeitsforschung
an der TU Dortmund (IfADo)
Dr. Nachiket Vartak
Systems Toxicology
Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
Ardeystr. 67
D-44139 Dortmund
Tel: +49-231-1084-355

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
jobexperience is required
Germany (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Working place
44139 Dortmund
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences