PhD Position – Three-Dimensional Mapping of Epidermal Tissue Mechanobiology upon Mechanical StretchingForschungszentrum Jülich GmbH • Institute of Biological Information Processing – Mechanobiology (IBI-2) • Jülich

Germany Universities


July 31, 2022


Open Positions 1

Time Span as soon as possible for 3 years Application Deadline 31 Jul 2022 Financing yes Type of Position

  • PhD - Doctoral Programme
  • Field of Research

  • Mathematics / Natural Sciences
  • Subjects Biotechnology Description 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 7,100 employees in one of Europe's biggest research centres and help us to shape change!

    The Institute of Biological Information Processing – Mechanobiology (IBI-2) – is looking for a PhD student with a thesis project that aims at studying mechanical key properties as well as the underlying cellular and molecular processes in cell culture models of the epidermis that undergo cyclic stretch. We use and develop cutting-edge tools from molecular cell biology and biophysics to apply defined mechanical stimuli to cells and tissues cultured in mechanically defined environments and quantify the ensuing cell responses. To this end, we apply advanced live-cell microscopy and immunofluorescence imaging, cell force microscopy, and state-of-the-art techniques from molecular biology. We are an interdisciplinary group of biologists, physicists, and chemists who work hand in hand to accomplish the challenging scientific tasks in the fascinating field of mechanobiology. We greatly value teamwork and strive for excellent supervision.

    We are offering a PhD Position – Three-Dimensional Mapping of Epidermal Tissue Mechanobiology upon Mechanical Stretching

    Your Job:

    The human skin is the largest organ in the human body. As a multi-layered epithelium it depends functionally on a precise regulation of cell division and cellular adhesion. Faulty regulation and impaired adhesion lead to a variety of human diseases that require detailed analysis in biomimetic 3D cell culture systems. You will cultivate three-dimensional, multilayered models of the epidermis on stretchable substrates and subject them to defined mechanical strain. This signal will induce cellular mechanoadaptations like reinforcement of the actin cytoskeleton and cellular adhesions that you will image and quantify in all layers. You will use photobleaching techniques to explore protein exchange upon mechanoadaptation. Moreover, you will compare cells of different genetic background.

    Your tasks in detail will be:

    - Cultivating simplified epidermal equivalents (SEE) from keratinocytes in in-house developed elastomeric chambers and subjecting them to cyclic stretch of physiological amplitudes - Analyzing the mechanoresponse of SEEs from healthy and mutated keratinocytes; this includes structures and processes in the actomyosin cytoskeleton, in cellular adhesions, and overall cell and tissue morphology - Transfecting these cells with GFP-tagged variants of key proteins of mechanobiology - Using advanced techniques of fluorescence microscopy including fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and high-resolution confocal microscopy on these samples - Characterizing adaptation of mechanical tissue properties in response to cyclic stretch - Participating in national and international conferences to present your research results - Interacting with local project partners as well as national and international collaborators - Preparing scientific publications and project reports

    Your Profile:

    - You have completed your biology, biotechnology, or biophysics studies very successfully with a M.Sc. degree with an overall grade of at least “gut” (or equivalent, e.g. cum laude) - Ideally you have expertise in the fields of biophysics or molecular cell biology - You should have practical experience in standard techniques, such as light microscopy, live-cell imaging, and animal cell culture - Very good command of written and spoken English - Commitment to science and very reliable, conscientious style of working - Excellent ability to cooperate and work in an interdisciplinary team

    Our Offer: We work on cutting-edge research in a highly relevant field of science. We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

    - Significant expertise in state-of-the-art techniques and strategies in molecular cell biology and mechanobiology - Excellent scientific mentoring by the scientific advisors and regular scientific discussions - You will be part of the DFG-funded graduate school Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs (ME3T; https: // and work at the FZJ - A highly motivated group in an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe's most renowned research centers - 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

    The position is initially for a fixed term of three years. Pay will be in line with 50% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60% of a monthly salary as special payment (“Christmas bonus”). The doctoral degree will be conferred by the Faculty of Sciences of Bonn University. Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at https: // www.

    Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations. We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

    The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your application via our Online Recruitment System! https: // www.

    Questions about the vacancy?

    Get in touch with us by using our contact form. https: // www. Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.



    Working Language

  • English
  • German
  • Language of Dissertation

  • English
  • German
  • Required Documents

  • CV
  • Reports, certificates
  • Letter of Motivation
  • List of Publication
  • More Information https: // www. fz-

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