PhD-student (TV-L E13 65%)

The Section Molecular Developmental Genetics at the Institute of Human Genetics (head: Prof. Dr. med. H. Hahn), University of Göttingen, invites a motivated
(TV-L E13 65%)
to work on the project The role of WNT5A and ß-Catenin-independent WNT signaling pathways in rhabdomyosarcoma”. The project is funded by the Wilhelm Sander-Stiftung and can be started immediately.
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common pediatric soft tissue sarcoma. RMS are divided by histology and molecular biology in embryonal RMS (ERMS) and in the more aggressive alveolar RMS (ARMS) subtype. We recently showed that the canonical WNT/ß-Catenin signaling pathway plays a subordinate role in RMS pathology. In contrast, RMS overexpress WNT5A, which is the major ligand of ß-Catenin-independent, noncanonical WNT signaling. Since WNT5A is significantly overexpressed in the less aggressive ERMS when compared to ARMS, noncanonical WNT signaling seems to be associated with a more favorable RMS phenotype.

Activities and responsibilities

Key objectives of the project are to analyze which noncanonical WNT signaling pathways and receptors are activated by WNT5A in RMS. In addition, we will elucidate the role of WNT5A in RMS pathology both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we will analyze the potential reciprocal influence of tumor-derived WNT5A on the RMS stroma and will analyze, whether WNT5A expressing and activated tumor cells are better or worse eliminated by cytotoxic immune cells. In dependency of the experimental outcome, we will start a preclinical approach using either WNT5A mimetics or RMS-specific chimeric T-cells.

Qualification profile

  • you hold a master or diploma degree in natural science
  • you have experience with cell culture techniques and with methods used in molecular biology
  • experience with murine tumor models will be advantageous
  • you are interested in aspects of signal transduction, tumor genetics and the development of new tumor therapies
  • you have good IT and communication skills in English
  • you are team and goal-oriented

Send application to

Please send an electronic form of your application including:
  • CV
  • certificate of school education
  • diploma, master etc.
  • description of your lab experience
  • short abstract of your master or diploma work
  • contact details of two references

to Prof. Dr. Heidi Hahn (, Molecular Developmental Genetics (
Travel and application fees cannot be refunded or transferred.
Women are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities and equal qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

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