14 PhD Positions in biology, physics, and chemistry at University of Würzburg, Germany

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The DFG funded Research Training Group “Metabolism, topology and compartmentalization of membrane proximal lipid and signaling components in infection” (SphingoInf) at the University of Würzburg, Germany, invites applications for 14 PhD Positions in biology, physics, and chemistry

Research Focus

In spite of the availability of preventive strategies, infectious diseases continue to be a major threat worldwide. Therefore, there is a demand for continuous development of anti-infective or immuno-therapeutic strategies, in particular for conditions where conventional interventive means are not available, prohibited or fail. To control infectious diseases, novel interventive strategies should therefore effectively modulate 1) innate and adaptive immune responses and/or 2) tissue and cell compartment specific autonomous metabolic parameters all – of which operate to limit (or in some instances also promote) both pathogen spread and tissue damage. Common denominators of these cellular processes are dynamic alterations in membrane metabolism. This efficiently defines compartmentalization of the repertoire of host and immune cell receptors, associated signaling pathways, cytoskeletal dynamics and effector mechanisms. Because sphingolipids are major components of membranes, sphingolipid biosynthesis and metabolism and availability of their signaling inert or bioactive species substantially affects the biophysical properties of membranes and the subcellular redistribution of receptors and signaling complexes. This may essentially regulate pathogen uptake and handling at a cellular and organismic level as well as survival and activity of immune cells where they shape the magnitude and quality of the individual cellular compartments acting to control a given pathogen. Targeted intervention of sphingolipid turnover has proven to be a successful strategy in inflammation, but its potential as a target in controlling infectious diseases at the level of metabolism and immune controls requires further definition. Therefore, the RTG initiative aims to identify and validate targets for novel anti-infective or immunotherapeutic strategies targeting infectious diseases at the level of modulation of the sphingolipid metabolism.

The positions are fixed term for 36 months, and the expected starting date is 1 April 2020. 

The Research Training Group unites biological, medical, and chemistry research at the University of Wuerzburg. The RTG aims to identify and validate targets for novel anti-infective or immunotherapeutic strategies targeting infectious diseases at the level of modulation of the sphingolipid metabolism. 

SphingoInf doctoral researchers receive multidisciplinary training and perform research within the RTG. Projects are available that ask for different sets of experiences in a broad spectrum of research fields and methodologies, ranging from lipid and protein analytics, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, infectiology, immunology, high resolution optical microscopy, to molecular biology.

SphingoInf offers a family friendly and international atmosphere. The University of Wuerzburg is an equal opportunities employer and strongly encourages qualified female scientists to apply. With equal qualifications, preference will be given to disabled persons.

The positions are fixed term for 36 months, and the expected starting date is 1 April 2020.

Application procedure

Please download the Application Form (link). That PDF form can be filled in with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Important hint for filling in the form: Under “Which principal investigators are you interested to join”, please make
your choice according to the research projects described on the homepage.
After completing the form, Adobe Acrobat Reader may give you the option to directly send the file. Disregard this
option,  instead save the document without any further changes and send it in one e-mail to grk2581@uni-wuerzburg.de,
together with one and only one other PDF file, in which you merged the following documents:

PDFs or scans and images saved in PDF format of your:
– secondary school leaving certificate
– if applicable, university entrance qualification (e.g. Gaokao if you are from China, National entrance exams like
NEET or GATE if you are from India etc.)
– BSc and MSc diplomas and complete transcripts including a
– full description of the grading scale under which you have obtained your degrees
– English language certificate
– Curriculum vitae (CV)

Regarding the scans/images: They must have a high enough quality to be readable (200 dpi is usually fully sufficient),
the resulting file may however not exceed 10 MB.

Thus we expect to receive two and exactly two PDF files from you:
1. The completed application form
2. The documents (max 10 MB)”

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