PhD Student Position in Alcoholic Liver Research (Salary Scale 13 TV-L / 50%)

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Experimental Radiology (Head: Prof. B. Relja) of the University Clinic for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (Head: Prof. M. Pech) currently has an open call for a PhD student position (DFG funded).
The contract will be fixed-term for three years.

Situated in an outstanding research environment at the University Hospital, Experimental Radiology centers around three well-connected research branches: 1. Human studies including patients with chronic or acute diseases focussing on the biologic immune/ inflammatory responses; 2. in vivo studies elaborating the immunological response in different compartments (blood cells, tissues, humoral mediators) and 3. in vitro studies uncovering the regulating biological processes.

Activities and responsibilities

Topic: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) as one of the predominant causes of liver-related morbidity and mortality worldwide encompasses a spectrum of liver injury ranging from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and finally cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of this multifactorial disease involves both hepatic non-parenchymal and parenchymal cells. Accumulating evidence suggest that resident macrophages in the liver play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of both chronic and acute ALD. Upon chronic alcohol consumption those cells get activated by gut-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS), “danger- or damage-associated molecular patterns” (DAMPs) and release reactive oxygen species (ROS), pro-inflammatory cytokines and further chemoattractants for cytotoxic neutrophils, which directly impair the function and viability of the neighboring cells. While oxidative stress and cytokines may induce tissue damage and apoptosis, alcohol metabolites can open tight junctions and increase epithelial permeability. The thesis project will deal with the pathological cascade of these events including the analysis of the underlying molecular mechanisms of endotoxin recognition by specific receptors on macrophages and other cell types in the liver. Furthermore, specific therapeutic targets in specific cell subsets of the liver will be applied in order to modulate cytokine release, oxidative stress, phagocytizing behaviour and barrier disruption as well as the development of a chronic pro-inflammatory micromilieu in ALD.

Methods that will be applied: in vivo experiments, isolation of primary liver cells, immunohistology, flow cytometry, knock-down, knock-out, migration/invasion assays, gene and protein analyses, CRISPR/Cas and other standard laboratory procedures.

Qualification profile

We invite highly qualified candidates with a strong commitment to basic and clinical science research to apply.
Applicants should hold an MSc (or equivalent degree) with a background in biological sciences, neurosciences, biochemistry, biophysics, biotechnology or a related discipline. Experience in cell biology, molecular biology field is mandatory.

Application is open NOW. Closing date for application is February 29, 2020. Accepted candidates may start research projects as early as March 15th 2020.

We offer

We offer YOU:
A structured PhD program
State-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge research projects
Individual supervision
Generous funding

We are looking for:
Talented, creative, motivated and enthusiastic doctoral students from all over the world with a strong passion for basic and clinical science.

Send application to

Please submit your application including a CV, a motivation letter, two letters of recommendation (not mandatory), copies of Bachelor/Masters certificate (or equivalent) and a transcript of records as one single pdf file to:

Borna Relja, Prof.
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Medizinische Fakultät
Leipziger Str. 44,
39120 Magdeburg

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About Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg