|| Conducting research for a changing society: This is what drives us at Forschungszentrum Jülich. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, we aim to tackle the grand societal challenges of our time and conduct research into the possibilities of a digitized society, a climate-friendly energy system, and a resource-efficient economy. Work together with around 7,250 employees in one of Europe’s biggest research centres and help us to shape change!
Would you like to work on an interdisciplinary doctoral project for four years bridging different research topics and disciplines while benefiting from the expertise and supervision of experienced scientists from different institutes at Forschungszentrum Jülich? Then a project within the Jülich Program for Collaborative Doctoral Projects is just right for you. Research at Forschungszentrum Jülich addresses the very latest issues that impact our society, combining basic research with application. Being one of Europe’s biggest and most multidisciplinary research centers with a strong research infrastructure, Forschungszentrum Jülich offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary projects. Support us researching and developing new ideas and solutions for a changing society. For more information on the Jülich Program for Collaborative Doctoral Projects, please visit: https://go.fzj.de/collaborative-doctoral-projects.
We are offering a four year
Doctoral Project Opportunity – An Organoid Co-Culture System as a Model for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is driven by diffuse astroglial and neuronal injury followed by secondary injury cascades of cellular toxicity, inflammation, and aggregation of toxic proteins. However, the complex interplay of glial cells remains to be elucidated in both trauma and regeneration. Our current mechanistic understanding of TBI in in vitro models has been primarily derived from two-dimensional models. Nevertheless, the in vivo situation is much more complex and warrants 3D impact platforms, addressing the spatiotemporal details of cellular injury strains on human interconnected neuronal-astroglial networks. Using 3D brain organoids incorporating microglia (INM-3) combined with fast forming, simplified neural co-culture systems (IBI-2), the doctoral researcher will use both systems to apply defined strain and compression signals simulating TBI.
We are looking for a doctoral researcher who will:
Generate cerebral organoids from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and incorporate microglia consecutively
Grow organoids on (i) soft silicone cushions or (ii) in agarose within a tissue stretching / compression system, respectively, to compress them within defined parameters, simulating TBI in vitro
Assess cultures for key functions including cell survival, cell proliferation, neuronal functionality (Ca2+ imaging), and TBI biomarkers
Compare organoid cultures with neuronal-astroglial co-cultures grown on microstructured elastomeric substrates allowing the development of functional neuronal network clusters and single cell read-outs
Assess the effects of a therapeutic pharmacological intervention in this TBI model in vitro using the read-outs listed above
Practical work will take place at Forschungszentrum Jülich and University Hospital of Cologne (mobility between those institutions is required).
Expertise in cell culture and light microscopy
Experience in interdisciplinary work
Knowledge in image processing and statistical data evaluation
Medical, mechanobiological, or biological background is required
Strong motivation for pursuing a doctoral degree within four years in an ambitious but rewarding interdisciplinary project related to neuroscience and mechanobiology
Willingness to commute between Jülich and Cologne
We offer ideal conditions for you to work on a doctoral project at the leading edge of science, including:
Excellent scientific and technical infrastructure
Continuous supervision by a team of experts
A vibrant international work environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors: https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/judocs
Extensive company health management, as well as social security and health insurance
30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)
Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://go.fzj.de/benefits.
The PhD position is fixed for a term of four years. Pay will be in line with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund).
We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities, in which everyone can realize their potential, is important to us.
For this program it is mandatory to use and upload our CV template: https://go.fzj.de/collaborative-doctoral-projects.
We look forward to receiving your application by August 7, 2023, via our Online Recruitment System!
Questions about the Offer?
Please feel free to contact us via our contact form. Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.
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