Ph.D. Position in Experimental/Molecular Neuroimmunology | DZNE

Website DZNE - German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Ph.D. Position in Experimental/Molecular Neuroimmunology | DZNE

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a unique non-university research center which is dedicated to the subject of dementia and all its areas, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. The center compasses the full spectrum of fundamental research through population sciences to health care research. The DZNE stands for excellence in research and science management, translation of scientific results into practice, interdisciplinarity, and internationalization. It is a research center within the Helmholtz Organization of German research centers. With over 1,000 employees from 60 nations, spread over 10 sites, the DZNE is one of the national and international leading research centers in its research field.

The groups of Dr. Jonas Neher (DZNE Tübingen site, where the postdoc position will be located) and Dr. Marc Beyer (DZNE Bonn site, where the Ph.D. position will be located) have a joint interest in how peripheral inflammation affects the immune response of the brain. In this project funded through the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, the two groups will be jointly investigating how peripheral inflammation alters the microglial phenotype in the short and long-term, both in mouse models as well as human tissue. In particular, this project aims to define the molecular underpinnings of innate immune memory in microglia (as shown by their groups for the first time in Wendeln et al., Nature, 2018) and will take these analyses to the next level by combining state-of-the-art single-cell RNA-sequencing as well as epigenetic profiling of microglial cells. We will also test how different peripheral immune stimuli affect the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, generating a comprehensive map of the molecular alterations that define innate immune memory in microglia and how they may alter neurodegenerative disease, while also examining the molecular effects on other major cell types of the brain.

For more general information, please also visit the websites of the Neher and Beyer groups:

Your tasks:

In this project, the successful candidates will jointly analyze tissue from animal models as well as human patients, using a range of methodological approaches, such as single nucleus RNA-sequencing, histology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, etc. to determine what defines immune memory in microglia and how this affects neurodegeneration.


For this 3-year project, we are seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student, with a strong interest in neuroimmunology and very good German or English proficiency.

For the Ph.D. position, the successful candidate should have prior experience either in:

  • Molecular biology and/or high throughput sequencing techniques;
  • Bioinformatics.

The successful candidates will of course be able to acquire additional methods during the course of this project.

We offer:

  • A well-funded project at the leading edge of (neuro-)immunology, within the emerging field of innate immune memory;
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure and state-of-the-art methodologies;
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research;
  • A high potential for the individual development of our employees (including targeted personnel development);
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes.

You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification during your activities at DZNE. DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.

Please submit your application using the online system, consisting of your CV (incl. any publications and two references) and a brief cover letter (max. 1 page) stating your motivation for and prior experience relating to this project.

If you have further questions, please contact [email protected]. Interviews will take place by video conference, with a possible onsite visit to Bonn. The position is available immediately and applications will be considered until the positions are filled (with the latest possible starting date being December 1st, 2020).

Ph.D. Position in Experimental/Molecular Neuroimmunology | DZNE

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