Jobs Open positions in our lab

We are always seeking highly motivated new members for our research team!

1.) PhD and Postdoc position: Adressing neural stem cell plasticity in the adult CNS

To unravel fundamental questions of stem cell plasticity in the adult brain we are aiming at using single cell technologies incl. clonal lineage tracing, and next generation sequencing to study and compare glial progenitors of the embryonic, adult naive and adult injured CNS.

The ideal candidate should have experience in at least one of the following areas:

  1. Developmental neurobiology
  2. Genome engineering
  3. Single cell sequencing technologies

2.) PhD position: Cellular reprogramming and tissue regeneration

Project leaders: Prof. Ana Martin-Villalba & Prof. Dirk Grimm

Application deadline: 31.3.2018

Start of PhD project: as early as 1.4.2018

Summary: The ability to reprogram cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) by over-expressing a set of four transcription factors ("OKSM") has revolutionized regenerative medicine, but clinical translation is hampered by the difficulty to apply the approach directly in vivo. Likewise, the discovery of stem cells in adult tissues has spurred hopes that these could replace dying cells following injury, but their efficiency and versatility are often too low for therapeutic benefit.

Here, we will break new scientific ground, by attempting to partially reprogram adult stem cells within a tissue in a living organism to enable tissue repair in situ. To this end, we will engineer Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene delivery vectors for targeted OKSM transfer to neural stem cells (NSC) in the mouse brain, following injection into the lateral ventricles. To elude adverse formation of teratomas (benign tumors) due to unrestricted OKSM expression, we will implement two strategies that permit exogenous control over AAV vector expression. The vectors will then be tested in a clinically relevant mouse model of brain damage after cardiac arrest, i.e., transient global cerebral ischemia induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion.

Our key hypothesis is that spatio-temporally controlled OKSM expression will enhance the capacity of NSC to replace at least three different cellular subtypes that are needed for functional recovery of the damaged brain. If successful, our interdisciplinary and pioneering work merges, for the first time,two of the most powerful biomedical techniques in vivo and will thereby lay the foundation for entirely novel clinical modalities.

Methods that will be used: A wide variety of state-of-the-art molecular, genetic, biochemical, virological and cell biological technologies, including stem cell methodologies, viral vector design and production, and work in a physiologically relevant mouse model of human brain damage.

Cooperation Partner: Dr. Dominik Niopek (German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg)

Personal qualifications:
  • diploma or MSc in biology, molecular medicine or any related discipline
  • genuine interest in translational research, especially in regenerative medicine and/or gene therapy
  • high motivation for team work and for collaborative projects
  • prior experiences in stem cell research, virology, vectorology, mammalian cell culture and/or animal work are beneficial, but not required

Keywords: regenerative medicine, cellular reprogramming, iPSC, gene therapy, viral vectors

Researchers from all disciplines with a recently completed PhD or who are about to finish their PhD are welcome to apply. Candidates are expected to have a published record of achievements that would enable them to succesfully apply for postdoctoral fellowships and should send a CV, letters of recommendation, and a short outline of their research interests to
Interested PhD candidates can apply to our lab through the DKFZ International PhD program