Two PhD / Doctoral positions to investigate the metabolic factors controlling neuronal cell death decisions

(part-time up to 65 %, E 13 TV-L)

Reference number: 2023/256. The start date is as early as possible or by agreement. The position is available for three years.

The University of Konstanz is one of eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany. Since 2007 it has been successful in the German Excellence Initiative and its follow-up programme, the Excellence Strategy.

In our group we investigate the key pathways which control neuronal cell death. In this contest we are seeking for an enthusiastic person to start a doctoral research project on understanding how the ensemble of metabolites determines whether a toxicant leads to the demise of an entire cell by apoptosis or by a non-apoptotic death (e.g. ferroptosis) or to a selective neurite degeneration. The project will be part of collaborative Research Centers/Transregio (SFB-TRR 353), dedicated to the research of biological processes that regulate the phenomenon of cell death at the molecular level. The Transregio project will offer you the opportunity to work in collaboration with several groups involved in the collaborative Research Centers, thus giving you the opportunity to exchange expertise and skills with other colleagues. Joining Konstanz University, you will achieve your PhD in one of the top-level research University in German, with a great international and interdisciplinary environment, nevertheless a great place for work-life balance with our campus perched on a hilltop overlooking Konstanz with a great view of Lake Constance and the Alps.

Two positions are available within the group of Prof. M. Leist; indeed, the question of metabolism-dependent decisions in the cell death process will be addressed on two tiers. In project A, it will be explored how cell death is triggered by toxicants under two standard metabolic situations that differ in the way cellular energy is provided. In project B, it will be explored whether interventions in key metabolic controllers or metabolite levels can lead to transitions between cell death modes. Although interplaying data and findings, the two projects will be pursued in parallel and independently.

Your Responsibilities

    • Assistance in complex data modifications and change of mass data
    • Carry on your own research project, developing ideas and protocols
    • Interpret analysis results and contribute to publications and presentations of the research group
    • Read and interpret relevant literature
    • Participate to TRR retreat and national/international conferences

Your Competencies

    • Strong written and oral communications skills are required in English and German language
    • Strong interpersonal and influence skills
    • A Master or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g. Biology, Biotechnology, Bioengineering, Molecular Systems Biology, etc)
    • Some experience in tissue culture, basic molecular and cellular biology will be highly recommended

We Offer

    • Good development opportunities, extensive training and an attractive remuneration package
    • An exciting interdisciplinary and international working environment
    • The opportunity to obtain a PhD degree from one of the current Excellence Universities in Germany
    • You will be able to develop additional skills through training programmes to help you complete your PhD

Questions can be directed to Prof. Dr. Marcel Leist via e-mail: or Dr. Ivana Celardo

We look forward to receiving your application with the usual documents until 31.10.2023 via our Online Application Portal.

The University of Konstanz is committed to ensuring an environment that provides equal opportunities and promotes diversity as well as a good balance between university and family life. As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to increase the number of women working in research and teaching. We also support working couples through our dual career programme. Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply. They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact, + 49 7531 88-4016).



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