Doctoral researcher position in Fungal Immunology in Würzburg

The University Hospital Würzburg in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute (Leibniz-HKI) – offers within the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 124 “Fungal Pathogens: Networks of Interaction – FungiNet”, Project A2,  a

Doctoral researcher position (m/f/d)

The group combines two decades of experience in fungal immunology with leading translational research efforts. Our research focus is based on the pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus, which represents the most relevant and detrimental fungal pathogen in immunocompromised patients. The risk to develop invasive aspergillosis (IA) is enhanced in patients after allogenic stem cell transplantation and patients with severe immunosuppression.

Project A2 specifically focuses on the interaction between natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells (DCs) with A. fumigatus and aims to identify human immune receptors on NK cells, their downstream signalling pathways and the fungal ligands, responsible for the in NK – A. fumigatus cross-talk.

Your challenge is

  • To analyse the cross-talk of NK cells with A. fumigatus, using transcriptome, proteome and microscopic (SEM, dSTORM) technologies
  • To specify deficiencies of those immune cell populations isolated from immunocompromised patients, and
  • To characterize extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from NK cells isolated from healthy persons and patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. EVs are mediators of intercellular communication and signalling by transferring membrane and cytosolic proteins and lipids. Here, we aim to characterize the specific cargo, vesicle release and molecular function of NK cell-derived EVs after A. fumigatus stimulation. In addition, we would like to investigate the antifungal activity of NK cell-derived EVs to examine their therapeutic potential to treat invasive aspergillosis

You will be able to work on an independent, high-impact project designed for a 3-year period. Your project part will start on 1 April 2022.

Applicants for this position should have a strong background in immunology, cell biology and molecular biology, and are about to or have obtained their Master with excellent results.

Key characteristics of successful applicants will include enthusiasm, a team and result-oriented work style, excellent communication and organizational skills, the ability to face scientific challenges with creativity and dedication.

The Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital Würzburg runs one of the largest hematology and stem cell transplantation programs in Germany, which provides numerous opportunities for bench to bedside interaction, education and clinical translation.

Our laboratory provides a stimulating and nurturing environment with an experienced team of scientists. Further, the applicant and project will benefit from the partnering within the TRR 124 “FungiNet” Consortium and from an international team of outstanding collaborators and partners. This includes a close collaboration with the Wuerzburg Biocentre (Department of Biotechnology and Biophysics).

We encourage our Doctoral researchers to become a member of the Wuerzburg Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), which offers a broad programme of further education. In addition, PhD students will be able to participate at mentoring programmes of the University of Wuerzburg and contribute to lab management and organization.

This available position will start on 1 April 2022 and will be in accordance with the German public service salary scale (E13 TV-L, 65%).

Disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualifications.

Please send your letter of motivation (German or English, 1-2 pages), your CV, a list of publications, and names of 2 potential referees as a single combined pdf-file by email until 30 November 2021 to:

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