The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 is inviting applications for
8 PhD student positions (m/f/d) (65%) at the Bonn Graduate School of Immunosciences and Infection.
Positions are initially limited to 3 years.
ImmunoSensation2 is a Cluster of Excellence funded by Germany’s Excellence
Strategy at the University of Bonn. Participating scientists are dedicated to
investigating innate immunity beyond the boundaries of classical immunology. In a
joint effort, immunologists, neuro-biologists, systems biologists and mathematicians of the University of Bonn and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) of the Helmholtz Association aim to connect the status of the immune system, the metabolism and the nervous system to disease states.
ImmunoSensation2 is embedded into the outstanding research environment of the
University of Bonn, the University Hospital and the DZNE. Furthermore,
ImmunoSensation2 is internationally connected and maintains research
partnerships with Australia (Melbourne University), Japan (Osaka University,
Waseda University, Kyoto University) and the Netherlands (Radboud University,
Nijmegen). Students will have the opportunity to receive additional financial support to participate in an official student exchange program (3 to 6 months) with selected principal investigators at these partner universities.
PhD students will be admitted to the Bonn International Graduate School
Immunosciences and Infection. In this structured PhD program, students gain
experience with state-of-the-art technologies and become part of a vibrant scientific network and an internationally competitive scientific training program.
The ideal candidate will be highly motivated and team-oriented with a strong interest in immunology, a first-class academic degree in a life science-related discipline (Master’s degree or equivalent), a strong background in molecular biomedicine, molecular biology, biochemistry or cell biology and enthusiasm for working in the highly-competitive field of innate immunity research. Candidates should have strong communicative skills (fluent spoken and written English) since these are necessary for work in an international research landscape.
The salary will be according to the German salary scale TV-L (EG 13)
A “Jobticket” (subsidized public transport) is available
There is also a possibility to use the day care center
Supplementary benefits in the public sector (pension plan according to VBL)
The University of Bonn is committed to diversity and equal opportunity. It is certified as a family-friendly university. It aims to increase the proportion of women in areas where women are under-represented and to promote their careers in particular. If therefore urges women with relevant qualifications to apply. Applications will be handled in accordance with the Landesgleichstellungsgesetz (State Equality Act). Applications from suitable individuals with a certified serious disability and those of equal status are particularly welcome.
Applicants should send their application in a single pdf file (max. 5 MB) including
motivation letter, CV, scanned academic degrees, list of publications and the contact details of two references. In your application, please indicate your preferred scientific project. More information on the scientific projects and project leaders can be found below, and more detailed information will be provided during the recruitment process. Successful candidates can begin on 1.1.2023 or upon
Please send your application by email using the reference number 747_2022 to the
Cluster Coordination Office until November 13th, 2022 to
Dr. rer. nat. Catherine Drescher
Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2
University Hospital Bonn
Phone: +49 (0)228/287-51288
Overview of the open PhD positions
Medical Clinic III
The Paeschke lab is studying how DNA and RNA structures impacts cellular pathways and how this impacts genome stability. Changes in genome stability can lead to inflammation but is also tightly connected to tumorigenesis. In the open project we aim to characterize how RNA G4 structures are sensed by the host cell and how this impacts immune responses
Medical Clinic III
The Department of Medicine 3 (Hematology, Oncology, Immunotherapy) at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn invites applications for a
PhD position (m/f/o) – Hematopoiesis and innate immunity
The successful candidate will join the laboratory of Dr. Lino Teichmann. The project will focus on the question how the innate immune system impacts hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell function and lineage output in a group of autoinflammatory syndromes called type I interferonopathies. These are genetically defined immunodysregulatory diseases characterized by the presence of a type I interferon signature in peripheral blood and variable systemic inflammation. Research will be performed in vitro and in novel mouse models and includes, but is not limited to, DNA and mRNA sequencing, flow cytometry and microscopy.
Contact: Dr. Lino Teichmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology
Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology
Metabolic regulation of immune cells
We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to fill a Ph.D. student position in dietary immunology in the research groups of Laura Surace & Christoph Wilhelm at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), University of Bonn. Dietary immunology is an emerging field that investigates how dietary metabolites regulate the immune system. The project will investigate how specific dietary regimens and diet-derived small molecules shape the immune response in infections, tumor immunology and chronic inflammation. Through the phenotypic, functional, and metabolic analyses of mouse and human immune cells we aim to clarify how changes in the host metabolism shape immune cell biology in the context of infection and cancer (Karagiannis et al. Immunity 2020; Surace et al. Nature Immunology 2021; Karagiannis et al. Nature 2022). The candidate will work with mouse models and human samples and apply classical immunological methods but also cutting-edge technologies, such as imaging flow cytometry, metabolomics and extracellular flux analysis. The overall aim is to identify novel dietary intervention strategies relevant in the treatment of infections, chronic inflammatory conditions and cancer. Candidates with experience in immunology, molecular or cell biology and biochemistry are specifically encouraged to apply.
Medical Clinic III for Oncology, Immuno-Oncology and Rheumatology
Research in the group of Prof. Dr. Dirk Baumjohann at the Medical Clinic III for Oncology, Hematology, Immuno-Oncology and Rheumatology (https://BaumjohannLab.de) focuses on T helper cells, which coordinate cellular and antibody-mediated immune responses to a variety of pathogens. While several distinct T helper cell subsets have been described in the past, recent research indicates that T helper cell differentiation is characterized by a considerable degree of flexibility and plasticity. We have a long-standing interest in T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which represent the prototypic CD4-positive T cell subset that provides help to B cells for efficient antibody responses. For this PhD student project, we seek a highly motivated candidate that will combine cellular and molecular immunology techniques with in vivo disease models and patient-derived samples to dissect the mechanisms of Tfh and Tfh-like cell responses in cancer and cancer immunotherapy (J Immunother Cancer 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34112740). Previous hands-on experience in immunological techniques such as multidimensional flow cytometry and in vivo models is desired. Experience in human immunology and in conducting and analyzing single-cell RNA-seq and spatial transcriptomics experiments is a plus. Good communication skills and fluency in English are essential.
Institute of Experimental Oncology
PhD position in Tumor Immunology
The position is placed in the Glodde lab embedded in the Institute of Experimental Oncology (IEO, www.ieo.uni-bonn.de) at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB). Our lab focuses on translational cancer research. Particularly, we are interested in understanding the complex tumor- and immune-cell interactions that drive resistance to cancer immunotherapies in order to develop innovative treatment approaches that improve therapeutic outcomes.
The project combines preclinical cancer mouse models, patient-derived 3D organoid cultures, multi-parameter spectral flow cytometry, cutting-edge genome editing, and bioengineering technologies (e.g. bioengineering of heavy-chain only camelid-derived antibodies to develop effective CAR-T cell-based therapies against solid tumors).
If you are a passionate scientist and willing to tackle complex tumor immunological questions, you should join our highly motivated team. We are especially looking for applicants with a collaborative attitude, high personal ambition and work ethic. Ideally, you will have previous experience in working with laboratory animals and immunological techniques.
Institute for Neurovascular Cell Biology
Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology
Regulation of gene expression, the decision which proteins to make from an identical genome, is essential to specify cell types and tissues. The ribosome, one of life’s most ancient molecular machines, has recently been revealed to be an active regulator of gene expression. Ribosomes are not all identical in composition and do not translate all mRNAs equally: ribosomes preferentially translate specific transcripts to diversify gene expression. It is poorly understood how ribosome components, proteins and rRNA, mediate such selectivity. The regulatory capacity of rRNA in translation has long remained unexplored. Ribosomes have dramatically increased in size across eukaryotic evolution, due in part to less conserved sequence insertions called rRNA expansion segments (ESs) that “expand” rRNA on the outer ribosome shell. rRNA ESs neither contribute to nor interfere with rRNA’s essential role in peptide-bond formation, so why do they exist? And what do they do? In several projects, we want to understand how rRNA ESs directly bind to selective transcripts to control mRNA- and species-specific translation (Leppek et al., 2020; Leppek, Byeon et al., 2021), how ribosomes recognize, bind and translate selective mRNAs such that rRNA-mRNA recognition patterns diversify the proteome. Ribosomes have thereby evolved the ability to discriminate which proteins are made in a cell through selective translation via rRNA. We aim to identify and characterize themolecular mechanisms of such ribosome-directed translation. The eukaryotic ribosome contains a multitude of distinct, unexplored ESs that
all have different sequence and structure. Thus, there are many open questions about what other potential functions rRNA ESs on ribosomes may have in gene regulation. In particular, we view ribosome-regulation through the lens of the innate immune response of macrophages. In the innate immune response customized translation may underlie dynamic and rapid cellular specification. We also continue to advance tailored RNA-based technologies such as RNA aptamer-based affinity purification or our recent VELCRO-IP (variable expansion segment-ligand chimeric ribosome-IP) method, a ribosome purification and mRNA-interaction strategy that harnesses the interspecies evolutionary change in
rRNA ES sequence to engineer chimeric ribosomes. Beyond, we strive to design and employ ribosome- and RNA-focused technologies to ask hard biological questions and with applications in basic science as well as in RNA therapeutics.
DZNE / Systems medicine
We are a diverse team working on systems medicine approaches in the context of immunology, infection, chronic inflammation, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases. In our projects, we attempt to untangle the molecular underpinnings of environmental influences including pathogens on the immune and nervous system in health and disease.
We are recruiting for several exciting research projects:
For these, we are searching for PhD candidates with a Master degree or equivalent in immunology, biomedicine, computational biology, or comparable topics and a strong research background in immunology, cell biology, and genomics or transcriptomics.
A) If you further have practical knowledge of data analysis using R or Python as well as practical experience in analysis of multi-color flow cytometry and transcriptomics data, you may be the successful candidate to analyse single-cell multiomics experiments in our clinical cohort study program. Within the framework of the BMBF-funded joint research project IMMME, you would study the immunological pathophysiology in post-infectious chronic fatigue syndrome, e.g. as in Post-COVID-syndrome and work together with partners across the involved five sites in Germany.
B) If you further have practical experience in multi-color flow cytometry, molecular and cell biology, and transcriptomics, you may be the successful candidate to perform single-cell multiomics experiments in our clinical cohort study program, which includes tasks from sample preparation to data analysis. Practical knowledge of data analysis using R or Python is of advantage here. Further, you would carry out wet-lab experiments to validate the initial findings from the omics data.
Clinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery
Our research focus lies in the field of musculoskeletal immunology. The overall goal is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of musculoskeletal immune responses to develop novel immunology-centered diagnostic and therapeutic options to better predict and treat musculoskeletal pathologies. Specifically, our current studies investigate immune responses in the context of implants and during bone homeostasis.
We are seeking a highly motivated, team-oriented PhD student to conduct research on aspects of osteo- and trauma immunology. The candidate will combine cellular and molecular immunology techniques with in vivo disease models and patient-derived samples to dissect the underlying mechanisms of the communication between immune system and musculoskeletal apparatus. The PhD student will be integrated into the local graduate program BIGS Immunosciences and Infection with outstanding training opportunities in multidisciplinary, interconnected scientific fields and will be supported by additional mentoring and networking opportunities.
Institute of Cardiovascular Immunology
The research focus of the "Cellular Virology" group is localized in interdisciplinary basic research. It covers the interface between virology, immunology, RNA biology and the new, highly innovative topic of extracellular vesicles. Using both classical and self-developed methods from all these fields, we explore the interactions between innate immunity and viral infections. These innate defense processes are evolutionary conserved pathways restricting viral replication and spread. However, innate immunity itself must also be fine-tuned to cellular requirements to prevent damage to the organism by the antiviral mechanisms themselves. In the context of the advertised position, cellular regulatory mechanisms of innate immunity will be investigated.
For more information about our group and our research, please see the following links:
F. Buket Basmanav/Regina C. Betz
Institute of Human Genetics
The PhD position will be based in the AG Dermatogenetics (Prof. Regina C. Betz) with the research project “Unraveling the molecular causes of alopecia areata (AA): whole-genome sequencing in patients with AA plus other autoimmune diseases (AAPAD))”. The aim of the project is to elucidate the genetic basis of alopecia areata and to gain mechanistic insights into its pathogenesis in the context of autoimmunity. The project is financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
The successful candidate will be involved in the analysis of genetic data and its functional follow-up using molecular biological techniques.
We are seeking a highly motivated, team-oriented graduate candidate with a strong interest in human genetics and complex traits, who is eager to work in a modern laboratory environment and to apply cutting-edge genomic and molecular biology technologies. Preferably, the successful candidate will hold a diploma or a master’s degree in Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Biomedical Sciences, or a related subject and has already wet lab experience. Proficiency in English and skill in the application of molecular genetic techniques are required. Experience in the use of computational tools (MS Office, MS Windows, Linux, R), and applied data analysis and database use would be beneficial. German knowledge would also be beneficial but is not a prerequisite.