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

The Graduiertenkolleg 1957 “Adipocyte-Brain Crosstalk” was established in 2014 with the funding from the German Research Foundation. It aims at providing structured doctoral training at the interface of neuroscience, biology and translational medicine. The DFG-funded Graduiertenkolleg 1957 “Adipocyte-Brain Crosstalk” studies 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 following PhD project (supervisors in brackets). Tentative start: May 2020. Earlier start date from January 2020 could be discussed with the PIs in the interview.

Activities and responsibilities

Supervisor: Dr. Jan Wenzel / Prof. Markus Schwaninger, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

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 neuroscience, biology, biochemistry, molecular life science, nutrition & biomedicine, pharmacology or a related subject (if you are working on the master thesis and expect to graduate until end of 2019/beginning of 2020, you can still apply - please state it in your motivation letter and upload the transcript to date)
  • Excellent English language skills in speaking and writing
  • Pro-active attitude, good communication skills and ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary team

We offer

  • 3-year employment contract, salaries according to German civil service tariff (TV-L 13, 65%)
  • All research groups are located at the Center of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM) with state-of-the-art lab facilities incl. MRT scanner, metabolic core unit, LC-MS, microscopy
  • Comprehensive academic support, e.g. project-specific courses, soft skills training, funding for research stays abroad and international conferences, individual career coaching
  • Relaxed life style in city of Lübeck among many UNESCO World Heritage sites and directly on the Baltic Sea coastline and part of the Metropolitan area of Hamburg, Germany's second largest city and home to a wide range of cultural and leisure attractions

Send application to

Application deadline: 30.10.2019

The complete application should include
  • a letter of motivation
  • a detailed CV
  • master's degree certificate AND transcript
  • a summary of the master thesis
  • bachelor's degree certificate AND transcript
  • two letters of recommendation (if you do not have the letters immediately available, please give us the contact details of two referees)
Documents issued in a language other than English or German must be translated into English AND certified by a public notary/German Consulate with an official seal.

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector

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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