PhD position (m/f/d) in Cellular Microbiology: Germany

The department Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene (UKE, Hamburg/Germany), research group of Prof. Martin Aepfelbacher, offers a third-party funded PhD position (E13/65%; 3 years) in the project “Yersinia induced immune imprinting of human macrophages”, starting as soon as possible.

The project mainly focuses on the reprogramming of the macrophage epigenome after Yersinia enterocolitica-infection and the main question, whether a special bacterial infection produces a specific epigenetic remodeling / imprint of the immune cells (e.g. “macrophage memory”). Therefore our research group has established a cellular infection model in which primary human macrophages were infected by different Y. enterocolitica strains / effector protein mutants followed by the examination of histone- and DNA-modifications via chromatin immuno-precision (ChIP)-sequencing and combined transcription analysis (RNA-sequencing). First results indicate a comprehensive reprogramming of the macrophage epigenome, which affects the entire inflammatory and metabolic response of macrophages to inflammatory stimuli.

The offered PhD position is integrated in the joint research initiative EPILOG (epigenetic long-term consequences of viral and bacterial infections; with participating scientists from the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), the University of Hamburg (UHH) and the Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI). Within EPILOG, the researchers use interdisciplinary and systemic high throughput approaches to study pathological as well as physiological consequences of epigenetic alterations (DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications) induced by viral and bacterial infections on a genome wide scale.

Activities and responsibilities:

  • Participation in the research project (including culturing of primary human macrophages, Yersinia-infection, epigenetic data processing and analysis)
  • Development and optimization of cell biological, biochemical and epigenetic techniques
  • Close cooperation with the EPILOG working groups of the UKE, HPI and UHH
  • Presentation of experimental data within the EPILOG consortium
  • Preparation of scientific publications or participation in scientific publications

Qualification profile:

We are looking for the most excellent and motivated graduates in Molecular Biology or Molecular Life Sciences with specialization in microbiology, biochemistry or genetics and with a strong interest in the field of epigenetics. Further requirements are excellent communication skills, competent language abilities in English and team spirit.

Applications (including CV, transcripts, certificates, motivation letter and at least one reference letter) must be sent to with all information attached in a PDF file of max. 2 MB.

Deadline of the application is the 15th of July 2020.

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