PhD Thesis in cancer research / cell biology: Molecular mechanisms of genome dynamics in human cancer cells as a trigger for tumor progression

The Laboratory for Cellular Oncology at the Goettingen Center for Molecular Biosciences (GZMB) and University Medical Center Goettingen (UMG) is seeking a highly motivated PhD doctoral candidate with particular interest in the molecular and cell biological mechanisms of genome stability/dynamics and mechanisms of tumor progression.
Human cancer cells are characterized by genome aberration that evolve over time, thereby contributing to large genetic changes that trigger tumor progression, metastasis and therapy resistance. One major form of this genome instability is called whole chromosome instability (W-CIN) that is associated with chromosome missegregation during mitosis causing whole chromosome aneuploidy. We are interested in unravelling the molecular mechanisms leading to defcets in mitosis and to whole chromosome missegregation in human cancer cells. In particular, we are interested in the role of cancer-associated signalling pathways, tumor suppressor genes (e.g. BRCA1, p53) or oncogenic pathways that might contribute to the induction of CIN in human cancer.

Most recently, we obtained evidence that also defects during DNA replication can affect subsequent chromosome segregation in mitosis. In fact, we recently founded a research consortium and we are now investigating the cross-talks between DNA replication and mitosis together with several other labs (for further information see:

Examples of our previous work (pfds are available upon request):
Stolz et al., Nature Cell Biology 2010
Ertych et al., Nature Cell Biology 2014
Lüddecke et al., Oncogene 2015
Stolz et al., Cell Cycle 2015
Stolz et al. EMBO Reports 2015
Ertych et al. PNAS 2016.

Activities and responsibilities

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate (m/f) with true interest in basic cancer research on one of the most important phenotypes of cancer cells, namely genome instability and genome dynamics. The candidate will have the chance to fully focus on an own research program directed to the analyses of mitosis and associated signal transduction pathways using human cells as model systems.
A particular focus of the planned research project will be the role of the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton during mitosis and its involvement in mitotic chromosome missegregation in human cancer cells. Interestingly, these mechanisms might also involve triggering pathways that act during DNA replication.

Qualification profile

The candidate should hold a very good Master degree in Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Human Biology, Biology, Biochemistry or similar. Experience in handling human tissue cultures, in transfection methods, in microscopy and knowledge in tumor biology/signal transduction would be a plus.

We offer

The planed investigations will involve the use of state-of-the-art cell biological and molecular biology methods including live cell microscopy (DeltaVision microscope), cell cycle analyses (FACS), fluorescence microscopy, cell manipulations with siRNA and CRISPR/Cas etc.
The PhD candidate will participate in one of the structured graduate programs in Göttingen, which will provide method and soft skill courses and additional benefits for a successfull PhD thesis work. We offer a highly stimulating scientific environment, lab space with state-of-the-art equipment (e.g. including live cell microscopy) and an optimal supervision and support.

Send application to

The full application should contain your CV, description of your lab experience, a letter of motivation, copies of bachelor and master certificates, list of publication and the names and addresses of two references.
Candidates, who are not yet finished with the Master thesis are also welcome to apply. Please include then a statement of your university courses/examinations and grades with your application.

Please send your application as a single pdf to:

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Über Göttinger Zentrum für Molekulare Biowissenschaften (GZMB)

Arbeitsgruppe "Zelluläre Onkologie": Wir sind ein grundlagenwissenschaftliches Labor der Georg-August Universität in Göttingen. Wir sind Teil des Universitätsklinilums (UMG) und des Göttinger Zentrums für Molekulare Biowissenschaften (GZMB). Unser Forschungsfeld beinhaltet die molekulare Analyse des Zellzyklus und der chromosomalen Instabilität in Tumorzellen. Insbesondere sind wir an den...
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