PhD student in Molecular Endocrinology

The Division of Molecular and Systems Toxicology, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (University of Basel), is offering a PhD student position to investigate mechanisms involved in glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity.

Activities and responsibilities

Glucocorticoids are major endocrine hormones essentially involved in the regulation of the immune system, brain function and metabolic processes. Glucocorticoids act through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and it was shown that up to 10% of all genes in human are modulated by glucocorticoids. Impaired GR function, due to altered post-translational modification, protein-protein interaction, pre-receptor regulation, and disturbances by xenobiotics have been associated with major diseases.
The proposed project investigates molecular mechanisms by which xenobiotics can alter the GR mediated response, especially focusing on glucocorticoid resistance. Phosphorylation of the receptor by MAPK pathway and related phosphatases as well as functional interaction with anti-oxidant defence system will be studied in cell-based models (macrophage, epithelial cells). The role of pre-receptor enzymes in regulating GR activity will be studied using recombinant protein expression as well as by modulating protein expression using knock-down in cells endogenously expressing these proteins. Methods applied include cell culture, analyses of gene expression and protein-protein interactions, receptor function analyses including binding and transcriptional activity, as well as investigation of ligand-protein interactions using molecular modeling. 
The successful candidate should have basic experience in working with cell culture and in biochemistry/molecular biology methods. The successful candidate will be integrated in an international research group. We employ a multi-disciplinary approach and look for a highly motivated, interactive team player.

Qualification profile

  • MSc in the field of Life Sciences  
  • Basic experience in biochemistry/molecular biology methods
  • Basic experience in cell culture
  • Fluent communication in English, written and oral, ideally good knowledge in German
  • Highly motivated, interactive team player 


  • PhD student position (achieve PhD within a time frame of 4 years)
  • Training into the key techniques
  • International research environment

Send application to

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: Endo_18

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