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Ph.D positions for Systems Toxicology

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The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), affiliated with the Technical University of Dortmund, investigates risks at the modern workplace using both basic and applied scientific approaches. The different research groups combine expertise from diverse academic backgrounds, including toxicology, immunology, neuroscience, psychology, ergonomics and occupational medicine to explore relevant questions and processes at scientific levels ranging from the cell to the whole organism. A major goal is to influence the design of the optimal work environment by shaping regulations governing employees’ health and by adding to the basic understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying work-related diseases.

The research group Systems Toxicology at IfADo is currently accepting applications for 
                                                      3 Ph.D positions

Position I

The proposed study will focus on the small GTPase, Rab18, the activation of which is critical for lipid droplet formation. The goal is to develop a model that simulates the number, size and kinetics of lipid droplet formation as a function of Rab18 activity and localization. Intravital 2-photon fluorescence imaging of mouse livers and in vitro fluorescence imaging of hepatocytes will be used to study the relevance of Rab18 activation to the onset and progression of steatosis/steatohepatitis. The project entails work on different mouse models, in addition to in vivo and in vitro transfection and imaging expertise. Therefore, the successful candidate must be willing to work with animals. 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. The successful candidate will be part of an international consortium of scientists and medical professionals working on liver diseases.
For further information contact: Dr. Nachiket Vartak (email: nash@ifado.de, Tel: +49-231-1084355).

Position II
This study investigates the role of the glycerophosphodiesterase, GPCPD1 (EDI3, GDE5) in tumour development and progression in vivo. GPCPD1 has been shown to be relevant in lipid and choline metabolism, as well as cell adhesion and migration in in vitro analyses. In the present study, both orthotopic tumour and transgenic mouse models of cancer will be used, together with in vivo and in vitro fluorescence imaging, NMR, and LC/MS to study GPCPD1’s role in vivo. Initially, cell models with altered and mutated expression of GPCPD1 will be created and characterized in vitro. Therefore, in addition to a willingness to work with animals, candidates with a background in cellular and molecular biology techniques will be preferred. Experience with murine cancer models and microscopy is highly desirable.
For further information contact: Dr. Rosemarie Marchan (email: marchan@ifado.de, Tel: +49-231-1084213).

Position III
The project focuses on the role of the matricellular protein WISP1 in liver pathophysiology. The study entails analysis of transcriptional regulatory networks associated with stress, inflammation and proliferation, using mouse models of liver damage and inflammation. In addition, a strong focus on immunophenotyping will be applied using FACS analysis on liver leukocytes. Finally, in vitro assays will be established to study in detail the molecular mechanisms involving WISP1 action in liver cells. Experience with animal experiments, cloning and recombinant protein production is highly desirable.
For further information contact: Dr. Patricio Godoy (email: godoy@ifado.de, Tel: +49-231-1084370).

All positions are financed for three years according to the German public wage law (TVL-E13 (50%)). 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.


Contact detail

How to apply:
Send application to

Ms.Silke Hankinson at hankinson@ifado.de or by post to the following address:

Leibniz - Institut für Arbeitsforschung
an der TU Dortmund (IfADo)
Ms. Silke Hankinson
Ardeystrasse 67

D 44139 Dortmund
Send application to
All positions are immediatley available. Please send your applications with reference to the appropriate project, including a CV, a letter of motivation, and the name and contact information of two referees.

Deadline closes April 15th, 2016

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Working place
44139 Dortmund
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences