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The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is the national aeronautics and space research centre and the space agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. Here, 8000 employees work together on a unique variety of topics in the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport, security and digitalisation. Their missions range from basic research to the development of innovative applications and products for tomorrow. Cutting-edge research requires excellent
minds – particularly more females – at all levels, who fully achieve their potential in an inspiring environment. Launch your mission with us.
For our Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, we are looking for
PhD Candidate in Neurobiology, Cell Biology
Neuronal development and activity under the influence of altered gravityYour mission:
Gravity has shaped life on Earth throughout evolution. Consequently, organisms have developed mechanisms to perceive gravity and to use this cue for spatial orientation. Moreover, gravity or lack thereof profoundly affects physiology in single cells and in complex organisms including human beings. For example, microgravity (weightlessness) during space travel elicits changes in neural and immune functions, muscle and bone loss, and cardiovascular deconditioning. These changes are likely explained by direct and indirect influences of gravity on cells. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating these responses are not fully understood.
You will work in an interdisciplinary environment at the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, Germany. There is the possibility to graduate with a PhD degree from the University of Bonn.
In your thesis, you will expose different primary neuronal cells including primary neurons and astrocytes in vitro to altered gravity conditions. You will apply our unique research platforms - clinostats and centrifuges - to simulate microgravity and produce hypergravity, respectively. Possibly, you might even perform experiments in real microgravity such as on parabolic flights of aircrafts or sounding rockets. Live-cell imaging during exposure to altered gravity will give insights to cell intrinsic mechanisms and adaptations, such as neuronal developmental processes or changes in neuronal activity. Calcium-sensitive fluorescent imaging, electrophysiological measurements using multi-electrode array systems (MEA), and visualization of alterations in cytoskeletal components will be applied. Furthermore, analysis of subsequent intracellular signaling pathways through biochemical assays and different "Omics"-technologies will be an important part of your work. Your thesis will contribute to a more detailed understanding how gravity triggers changes in neuronal cell function and development.
completed master studies in biology
experience with cell culture work is required
documented interest in neurobiology
ability to present your work on national and international conferences is required
excellent English skills in the written and spoken word is required
expertise in animal handling (mouse) is preferred, FELASA B certification is desirable
knowledge of microscopy applications, especially live-cell imaging, is preferred
experience with biochemical assays on the DNA-, RNA- and protein level is preferred
willingness to learn electrophysiological measurements is desirable
DLR is an employer that values your commitment and promotes your professional and personal growth through a range of qualification and training opportunities. Our unique working environment offers our employees a great deal of freedom and an incomparable infrastructure, in which you will be able to fulfil your mission.
Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.
If you have any questions concerning specific aspects of the job, please contact Dr. Christian Liemersdorf by calling +49 22 036013-869. Please find further information on this vacancy with the reference number 31005, and details regarding the application procedure, at www.DLR.de/dlr/jobs/#31873.