PhD Position in Central regulation of CO2-induced metabolic changes of adipose tissue and its alterations in endothelial dysfunction

The researchers in the DFG-funded Graduiertenkolleg 1957 at University of Lübeck study the effects of adipose tissue hormones on CNS function and in turn, the control of adipose tissue physiology by the brain. We are looking for highly motivated candidates for the PhD project (see title).
Tentative start: May 2020. Earlier start date could be discussed with the PIs in the interview.

Activities and responsibilities

Project Description:

In preliminary work on the interplay between the brain and peripheral metabolism we could show that the exposure to increased CO2 levels leads to an impaired thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) that subsequently led to a decrease of the body temperature. This effect was markedly potentiated in mice lacking a proper blood flow response to CO2 in the brain. Additionally, we have established a technique to measure BAT perfusion and by using this technique could confirm the effect of CO2 exposure on BAT activity.
The aim of the project is to figure out which mechanisms lead to the reduction of BAT activity upon CO2 exposure and whether this has any effect on metabolism. In addition to the investigations on normal mice, we will use transgenic mice that lack a proper central blood flow response to CO2 to examine the effects of an impaired removal of CO2 from the brain tissue.

Experimental Methods:
  • Working with genetically modified mice
  • Brain area-specific modulation of activity by virus-mediated and chemical approaches
  • Phenotyping of mice including measurement of thermogenesis, energy expenditure, and physical exercise
  • Perfusion measurements in brain and brown adipose tissue
  • Measurement of sympathetic nerve activity of brown fat-innervating nerves
  • Immunohistochemical and protein amount analyses

Qualification profile

  • Research-based master's degree or equivalent (e.g. diploma) passed with an above-average grade in biology, biochemistry, molecular life science, neuroscience, nutrition & biomedicine, pharmacology or a related subject
  • Excellent English language skills in speaking and writing
  • Pro-active attitude, good communication skills and ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary team

Send application to

GRK1957 Office, chaoqun.jiang(at)

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About University of Lübeck

Welcome at the GRK1957 "Adipocyte-Brain Crosstalk"Our DFG funded  Graduiertenkolleg 1957  offers focused research projects and a structured training programme. In an interdisciplinary research approach we address the effects of hormones derived from adipose tissue (adipokines) on CNS function and, in turn, the control of adipose tissue and body weight by the brain. ...
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