Doctoral Researcher (m/f/d)

  • Neurobiologie
  • 01.11.2024
  • Full-time
  • Temporary with possibility of extension

Application deadline: 31/08/2024

The Institute for Clinical Neurobiology of the University Hospital Würzburg is looking for a

We offer

  • Research projects with a high level of interdisciplinary and collaborative cooperations
  • An international research environment
  • Contract for a term of 3 years, salary group E13 according to the "Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federal States"
  • Occupational pension provision
  • company sports programs: own free of charge gym (training time: Mon-Fri 16:00 to 8:00; Sat-Sun 24h), Miloncircle
  • Own company day-care center with extended opening hours (5:30 – 18:00)
  • Wide-ranging training and individual training in our own academy
  • A good working atmosphere in a highly motivated and collegial team

Your Tasks

The hexanucleotide repeat expansions in the C9ORF72 gene are the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The pathological mechanisms of C9ORF72-caused ALS/FTD seem to enclose both loss and toxic gain of functions. Despite emerging evidence about loss of function mechanisms, the cellular and physiological roles of C9ORF72 and their importance for ALS pathogenesis remain poorly investigated. Analysis of the C9ORF72 proteomics in motoneurons as well as co-IP experiments with NSC34 cells revealed a significant interaction between C9ORF72 and ribosomes. We found that, these interactions are critical for the translation elongation phase, since shRNA-mediated targeting of C9ORF72 significantly reduced the translation capacity in cultured motoneurons, in particular in axons. This research project will help us to understand how C9ORF72 interaction with ribosomes regulates the translation in motor axons, and to characterize the pathological relevance of this interaction on axon and synapse degeneration in ALS.

The prospective PhD student will explore the roles of C9ORF72 in regulation of the translation elongation in wildtype mouse and human motoneurons, in particular in axons and presynaptic compartments and unravel whether loss of this function associates with pathomechanisms involving reduced translation capacity in axons in ALS mouse and human models. The project involves studying with mouse primary motoneurons as well as human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived motoneurons from ALS-C9ORF72-repeat expansion carriers using super-resolution microscopy and biochemical assays. These studies will provide new insights into the loss of function mechanisms for the investigation of ALS axonopathy and neurodegeneration.

Your Profile

We encourage applications of candidates with a strong interest in cellular and molecular neurobiology. Practical experiences with protein biochemistry, human stem cell cultures, or super-resolution microscopy, and a significant previous exposure to the neuroscience research areas during the master education are wellcome.

All you need is: 

  • Candidates must hold a master degree (or equivalent) in Neuroscience, molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, or biophysics
  • Great interest in cutting edge experimental research in molecular neurobiology and super-resolution microscopy
  • Motivation to contribute to teaching and supervising students
  • Proficiency in English (spoken and written)
  • 2 recommendation letters


This is what you can look forward to

  • Training and Continuing Education
  • Retirement Pension Plan
  • Flexible Working Hours
  • Collegiality
  • Sport and Fitness Options
  • Employee Events
  • Corporate Benefits

Become part of the team: Apply now!

Dr. Mehri Moradi
Institute for Clinical Neurobiology
Tel: +49931 201 44030

Remuneration is in accordance with the relevant collective agreements. Severely disabled applicants will be given preference if they are otherwise equally qualified.

The University Hospital of Würzburg (UKW) offers an innovative and excellent working environment in cutting-edge medicine. Here, employees benefit from state-of-the-art technology, extensive training and career opportunities as well as flexible working time models for an optimal work-life balance. We attach great importance to diversity and inclusion in order to create a respectful and supportive working environment. A strong sense of community and interdisciplinary collaboration are central to our way of working. Würzburg, a city with a high quality of life, offers a wide range of cultural and leisure activities as well as excellent educational opportunities. The UKW takes responsibility for the health of society and promotes an environment that focuses on ethical values and social commitment. Become part of our team and help shape the future of medicine.