The ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence places strong emphasis on the support of early careers and gender equality. Our four-layered Promotion Concept for graduate students, post docs, young investigators and group leaders will be supported by our special funding program and will provide exciting new career opportunities that will be further shaped through interactions with our local and international partners.

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Helping hands needed for research on COVID-19

We are currently experiencing a surge in new infections with SARS-CoV-2.
We urgently need help in our ongoing basic and translational research on the host immune response to the virus at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB). We are looking for students, technical assistants or anyone else willing to support our work in the acquisition and analyses of samples.

We offer compensation as Student Assistants or as Mini-Jobs, and you would actively participate in the biomedical research on the pathogenesis of COVID-19.

In the newly established BMBF-funded research consortium, ‘COVIMMUNE', clinical and basic science-oriented research groups collaborate to investigate how divergent immune responses contribute to the disease course. We aim to understand the role of the immune system in disease progression and the development of possible complications and long-term consequences. Involved partners are experts in innate and adaptive immunity (E. Latz, N. Garbi, Z. Abdullah, F. Meissner, C. Wilhelm, F. Schmidt, J. Gotot, C. Kurts, G. Hartmann), virology (H. Streeck, B. Kümmerer),
hemostaseology (B. Pötzsch), omics technologies (S. Schmidt, J. Schmid-Burgk, K. Ludwig, M. Geyer), and various clinical disciplines (C. Bode, C. Putensen, J. Nattermann, C. Boesecke, J. Rockstroh, D. Skowasch, M. Heneka, and others).
We are looking for flexible technicians and students of medicine or biosciences, or anyone else interested in supporting ongoing research on COVID-19.

Support is needed in three areas:

1) Sample acquisition from people in quarantine or at risk for severe courses of COVID-19
Helping hands are needed for the research and outbreak management and special mobile field task force team (SWAB-Teams) headed by PD Dr. Dr. Ricarda Schmithausen (One Health section, Institute for Hygiene and Public Health), who is collecting samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected participants or people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease course. Your tasks will be to flexibly join the teams,
manage the logistics and sample acquisition (swabs and/or blood).

2) Sample preparation for immunological and system biological analyses

You will be involved in the processing and analyzing of blood samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. This work includes robotic cell isolation, immune activation assays and transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling of cells. You will be embedded in a team of dedicated scientists working in a specially equipped COVID-19 safety laboratory at the Institute of Innate Immunity (Prof. Eicke Latz).

3) Analysis of immune cells in blood samples of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients
You will support the research team of Prof. Natalio Garbi and Prof. Zeinab Abdullah (Institute of Experimental Immunology) in the analyses of immune cells by flow cytometry and immunological assays.

Interested persons should be willing to work with blood material and should be able to spend flexible working hours potentially involving weekend days or early/late hours, depending on sample availability.
In case you are interested in moving forward COVID19 research and understanding of the disease by supporting one of our teams, please contact our coordinator Dr. Andrea Rothballer (Andrea.Rothballer@uni-bonn.de).

PhD Position (65%)

The University Hospital Bonn is a maximum care facility with a regular capacity of 1.300 beds. Our current staff of more than 8.000 performs assigned duties in research, teaching and medical treatment, including the use of advanced medical technologies, and public health care services at the highest possible level. Interested applicants will be offered a wide range of employment opportunities in a variety of fields.
The Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-University Bonn invites applications for

a PhD position – Dietary immunology

The position is available for 3 years with possible extension. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to fill a Ph.D. student position in dietary immunology in the research group of Christoph Wilhelm at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), University of Bonn. Dietary immunology is an emerging field that investigates how dietary compounds and metabolites regulate the immune system. The project will investigate how diets (e.g. ketogenic diets) and dietary components drive or prevent chronic inflammation and includes the analysis of metabolic pathways controlling innate lymphoid cells (ILC) (Karagiannis et al. Immunity 2020). To investigate these processes the candidate will use mouse models, 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 to treat chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma and colitis. Candidates with experience in cellular immunology, molecular cell biology or biochemistry are specifically encouraged to apply.

We offer:

  • The salary will be according to the German salary scale TV-L (EG 13 (65 %))
  • 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)
  • To work in a motivated team in a thriving research environment
  • Attractive conditions and benefits, an interdisciplinary research institution that fosters innovation and collaboration and are committed to training and career development of the next generation of scientists.

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. It 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.
Please refer to the application number 488_2020. Applications should include CV, certificates, and names and addresses of two referees and be send by e-mail to
Prof. Christoph Wilhelm
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology
University Hospital Bonn
University of Bonn
Venusberg-Campus 1
53127 Bonn, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 228 287 51721
E-Mail: christoph.wilhelm@uni-bonn.de

Open Positions

The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation offers a wide range of career opportunities for scientists. We promote targeted personal development and all our members offer interesting career opportunities. Appointments, remuneration and social contributions are internationally competitive.

Employment rules are in accordance with the TVL.

PhD student positions (m/f/d) (65%)

The University Hospital Bonn is a maximum care facility with a regular capacity of 1.300 beds. Our current staff of more than 8.000 performs assigned duties in research, teaching and medical treatment, including the use of advanced medical technologies, and public health care services at the highest possible level. Interested applicants will be offered a wide range of employment opportunities in a variety of fields.


The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 is inviting applications for

PhD student positions (m/f/d) (65%)

at the Bonn Graduate School of Immunosciences and Infection

Positions are initially limited to three years with the possibility of extension. 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.

We offer:

  • 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 here: www.immunosensation.de, and more detailed information will be provided during the recruitment process. Successful candidates will begin on May 1, 2021 or later.


Please send your application by email using the reference number 768_2020 to the Cluster Coordination Office until January, 15 2021 to

Dr. rer. nat. Catherine Drescher
Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2
University Hospital Bonn
Venusberg-Campus 1
53127 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0)228/287-51288
Email: applications_immunosensation(at)ukbonn.de
https://www.immunosensation.de/career/recruitment.html


Project overview

Christoph Wilhelm
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology


Dietary immunology is an emerging field that investigates how dietary compounds and metabolites regulate the immune system. The project will investigate how diets (e.g. ketogenic diets) and dietary components drive or prevent chronic inflammation and includes the analysis of metabolic pathways controlling innate lymphoid cells (ILC) (Karagiannis et al. Immunity 2020). To investigate these processes the candidate will use mouse models, 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 to treat chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma and colitis. Candidates with experience in cellular immunology, molecular cell biology or biochemistry are specifically encouraged to apply.


Dirk Baumjohann
Medical Clinic III for Oncology, Hematology, 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 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, new 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 T helper 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, patient-derived samples, and single-cell genomics to dissect the mechanisms of Tfh cells at the crossroads of immunity and autoimmunity. 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 scRNA-seq experiments is a plus. Good communication skills and fluency in English are essential.

For more information please visit:
https://www.immunosensation.de/about_us/members/detail/baumjohann.html



Stephanie Jung
Cellular Virology, Insitute of Cardiovascular Immunology


The research group "Cellular Virology" investigates the interaction between viral infections and innate immunity. These innate defense processes are evolutionary conserved pathways restricting viral replication and spread. However, viruses developed immune evasive mechanisms circumventing these functions or even using them for their own benefit. The PhD project will investigate pro- and antiviral mechanisms of innate immunity using the example of hepatitis B virus infection. A special focus of this advertised thesis project will be on so-called subviral particles which are released in large numbers by infected cells and contain immunomodulatory viral components. The influence of these subviral particles on HBV immune recognition and the resulting consequences for the viral life cycle will be investigated. The small group size enables a good methodical education and excellent supervision at the fascinating interface between viruses, the innate immune system and the new innovative field of extracellular signaling pathways.


Elvira Mass and Waldemar Kolanus
Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)


The Mass and Kolanus labs are looking for 2 PhD candidates, preferably with a strong immunology background, to study the role of high-salt diet in the development and function of myeloid cells. The position is for 3 years with a possible extension. The goal of the project is to characterize the cellular programming events of dermal macrophages driven by metaflammation and whether this can lead to changes in their immunological function. As model systems, we use mice and in vitro migration assays. Further methods include histology, cell culture, single-cell RNA-sequencing, and flow cytometry. The candidate is required to hold an M.Sc. degree in biology/immunology or similar topics. We are looking for candidates with hands-on experience or an interest in expanding their knowledge in molecular biology, high-dimensional flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and bioinformatic analyses (particularly scRNA-seq). Experience with mice and background in R/Python is a plus.


Kevin Thurley

Systems Biology of Inflammation, Bridging Program Biomathematics, ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence.

The mammalian immune response depends on the interaction and collaboration of many highly individual cells. Our group uses mathematical modeling and data analysis tools to quantify and rationalize immune cell dynamics in the context of clinical manifestations such as chronic inflammation and cancer. The group is currently moving from Berlin to Bonn, and will be integrated into both the ImmunoSensation cluster and the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, an exceptional environment for our interdisciplinary research program. We are currently recruiting 2 PhD students for data-driven modeling of cell-cell communication networks in two areas: innate lymphoid cells and T cells driving autoimmune organ damage, and tumor immune escape in response to T cell therapy. Both projects will be carried out in tight collaboration with wet-lab immunologists and will include first-hand data analysis as well as mathematical model development. The projects may comprise stochastic and spatial modelling techniques as well as analysis of single-cell sequencing and high-content imaging data, thus offering ample opportunity for expert training in modern systems immunology. We are looking for highly motivated, independent and committed scientists eager to make significant contributions to both fundamental and clinical research. Ideally, candidates have a Master degree in (bio-)physics, systems biology, mathematics, computer science, or a related discipline. Good computer programming skills are required, training in immunology or cell biology is an advantage. The position requires good communication and interpersonal skills, and fluent English. For more information, visit https://www.thurleylab.org.


Alexander Pfeifer
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology


Obesity has become a worldwide threat to the public health and efficient treatments are urgently needed. Obesity is characterized by an unhealthy increase in adipose tissue, due to hypertrophy and hyperplasia of adipocytes. In addition, during development of obesity inflammatory processes are involved as observed by massive influx of immune cells, e.g. myeloid cells, into adipose tissue. This inflammatory state of adipose tissue affects also other organs and results in obesity associated co-morbidities like insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (Sanyal et al., 2017). Two types of adipose tissue do exist, white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) (Pfeifer and Hoffmann, 2015). Whereas WAT is mostly considered to be the main storage for body fat, BAT is characterized as specialized fat tissue that is able to dissipate energy as heat. This metabolically active adipose tissue has been discovered in adult humans and it is considered as an attractive target for developing anti-obesity therapies (Gnad et al., 2014). Brown-like fat cells were also identified within WAT and contribute to energy expenditure (Hoffmann et al., 2015; Mitschke et al., 2013). In obesity, BAT function is impaired and its phenotype switches to WAT. Within this project we would like to investigate the role of different immune cell subsets especially in BAT and WAT function and plasticity.

References:
Gnad, T., Scheibler, S., von Kugelgen, I., Scheele, C., Kilic, A., Glode, A., Hoffmann, L.S., Reverte-Salisa, L., Horn, P., Mutlu, S., et al. (2014). Adenosine activates brown adipose tissue and recruits beige adipocytes via A2A receptors. Nature 516, 395-399.

Hoffmann, L.S., Etzrodt, J., Willkomm, L., Sanyal, A., Scheja, L., Fischer, A.W., Stasch, J.P., Bloch, W., Friebe, A., Heeren, J., et al. (2015). Stimulation of soluble guanylyl cyclase protects against obesity by recruiting brown adipose tissue. Nature communications 6, 7235.

Mitschke, M.M., Hoffmann, L.S., Gnad, T., Scholz, D., Kruithoff, K., Mayer, P., Haas, B., Sassmann, A., Pfeifer, A., and Kilic, A. (2013). Increased cGMP promotes healthy expansion and browning of white adipose tissue. FASEB J 27, 1621-1630.

Pfeifer, A., and Hoffmann, L.S. (2015). Brown, beige, and white: the new color code of fat and its pharmacological implications. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 55, 207-227.

Sanyal, A., Naumann, J., Hoffmann, L.S., Chabowska-Kita, A., Ehrlund, A., Schlitzer, A., Arner, P., Bluher, M., and Pfeifer, A. (2017). Interplay between Obesity-Induced Inflammation and cGMP Signaling in White Adipose Tissue. Cell Rep 18, 225-236.