PhD Position in Effects of thyroid hormone on adipocyte-brain-crosstalk

The researchers in the DFG-funded Graduiertenkolleg 1957 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:

Thyroid hormone is an important mediator of body temperature, as seen in hyperthyroid patients that are heat sensitive and have higher body temperature. Our recent study has revealed that the hormone has direct effects in the thermogenic brown and beige fat, but also acts in the brain to elevate the body temperature setpoint. In this project, we aim to dissect the actions of the hormone on brown fat thermogenesis to understand when the tissue specific actions are important and under which conditions the brain actions prevail for the regulation of body temperature. We will employ combinations of pharmacological experiments, genetically modified mice, alteration of gene expression in the brain using adeno-associated virus in combination with cold exposure and finally studies with human volunteers to better understand the mechanisms that govern body temperature regulation.

Experimental Methods:
  • Working with genetically modified mice (knock-out mice), including breeding strategies
  • Pharmacological induction of hypo- and hyperthyroidism in mice
  • Stereotaxic delivery of adeno-associated virus carrying transgenes to modulate thyroid hormone signaling in the brain
  • Phenotyping of mice including measurement of thermogenesis by e.g. infrared thermography, energy expenditure and body weight
  • Brown fat tissue explants cell culture
  • Studies with human volunteers and thyroid hormone administration (orally, intranasally) and recordings of sympathetic/parasympathetic activity, temperature measurements, energy expenditure, lipid profiling
  • RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, qPCR, Western Blot, Chromatin Immunoprecipitation, luciferase assays

Qualification profile

  • Research-based master's degree or equivalent (e.g. diploma) passed with an excellent 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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Über 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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