PhD Position in Biomedical sciences

Universitätsklinikum Freiburg


The Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene welcomes applications for a position as

PhD Position in Biomedical sciences

We are looking for a PhD student (m/f/d) with interest in Immunology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Virology and related fields. The position will be within the laboratory of Professor Nelson Gekara at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany).

Research focus:

The immune system that mediates pathogen clearance and tissue healing, and the DNA repair system that protects our genome are essential for life, and dysregulations in these defense systems are at the core of most diseases, including infections, autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, neurodegeneration, cancer and many age-associated health decline. The overall goal of the project is to understand how the innate immune and DNA repair systems cross-communicate with each other, identify regulatory components involved and devise ways to target these components in disease management. Diseases of current interest include infections, inflammatory diseases and cancer. We apply multidisciplinary approaches combining cutting-edge microscopy, in vivo (in mice) imaging techniques for monitoring infections, tumors and inflammatory processes, as well as molecular/cell biology and biochemical approaches for studying protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications. Candidates with experience in immunology, molecular or cell biology and biochemistry are specifically encouraged to apply.

We offer:

  • a well-equipped laboratory with colleagues skilled in many methods of basic medical research
  • ample opportunities for scientific exchange and interaction on a scientifically very active campus
  • work in a pleasant atmosphere

Qualification for the position:

  • a MSc. in cell biology, cellular microbiology, immunology, virology or similar fields
The advertised position is initially for three years with the possibility of renewal. The position will become available as soon as can be arranged. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L (65%).

Please apply online (letter of motivation, CV and certificates mentioned above) by 29.02.2024 at the latest.  

Relevant publications:

  • Erttmann SF et al., (2022). The gut microbiota prime systemic antiviral immunity via the cGAS-STING-IFN-I axis. Immunity. 55(5):847-861
  • Jiang H, Swacha P, Gekara NO. (2021). Nuclear AIM2-Like Receptors Drive Genotoxic Tissue Injury by Inhibiting DNA Repair. Advanced Science. 8(22)
  • Jiang H etal., (2021). Chromatin-bound cGAS is an inhibitor of DNA repair and hence accelerates genome destabilization and cell death. EMBO J. 2019 Sep 23:e102718
  • Erttmann SF, Gekara NO. (2019). Hydrogen peroxide release by bacteria suppresses inflammasome-dependent innate immunity. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 2;10(1):3493
  • Panda S, Gekara NO. (2018). The deubiquitinase MYSM1 dampens NOD2-mediated inflammation and tissue damage by inactivating the RIP2 complex. Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 7;9(1):4654
  • Erttmann SF et al., (2016). Loss of the DNA Damage Repair Kinase ATM Impairs Inflammasome-Dependent Anti-Bacterial Innate    Immunity. Immunity. 2016 Jul 19;45(1):106-18
  • Panda S, Nilsson JA and Gekara NO. (2015). Deubiquitinase MYSM1 regulates innate immunity through inactivation of TRAF3 and TRAF6 complexes. Immunity. 2015 Oct 13;43(4)
  • Härtlova A et al., (2015). DNA damage primes the type I interferon system via the cytosolic DNA sensor STING to promote anti-microbial innate immunity. Immunity. 2015 Feb 17;42(2):332-43

For further information please contact:
General information: Salary is assigned according to a pay scale. Unless prevented by operational or legal reasons, full-time positions are generally open to those wishing to job share. Where two candidates are equally suitable for a post, severely disabled candidates are given priority. Employment decisions are made by the Personnel Department.

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