PhD-Student Position (748)

DFG Priority Programme „Innate Lymhoid Cells“ and Emmy-Nother Nachwuchsgruppe at the III. Medizinischen Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

Salary grade 13 TVöD/VKA (65 %). The position will be funded for a period of 3 years. Starting date 01.01.2020 or later.

What to expect
Title: „Tissue-specific mechanisms of Innate Lymphoid Cell adaptation and plasticity”

The PhD project is funded by the German Research Foundation within the DFG Priority Program "Innate Lymphoid Cells" and is associated with the Emmy-Noether Research Group "Innate Lymphoid Cells in Renal Inflammation".
The dynamic adaptation of immune cells to the specific microenvironment of different tissues is still incompletely understood. The aim of the project is to investigate the mechanisms and function of tissue-specific Innate Lymphoid Cell (ILC) adaptation and plasticity. By using infection models in different mouse strains that allow for fate mapping of ILCs and transfer experiments with ILCs deficient in specific signaling pathways, we will elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive ILC tissue adaptation and plasticity. Furthermore, we will use single-cell RNA sequencing of ILC populations to address the question 1) whether ILC plasticity can be attributed to a specific subpopulation; and 2) which transcriptional networks control the ILC adaptation.

Activities and responsibilities

The responsibility of the PhD-Student includes planning and performing animal experiments, analysing the materials obtained from the experiments by using state-of-art methods, such as flow cytometry and single-cell RNA sequencing, the analysis and interpretation of the results, as well as their presentation at national and international meetings and the writing of manuscripts.
All activities are carried out in close cooperation with the other group members and the principle investigator.

Qualification profile

We are looking for an excellent, enthusiastic and self-motivated early-career researcher with good communication skills to join our research team.
  • A Master’s degree in biology, biochemistry or a comparable area of research
  • Basic skills in bioinformatics and/or immunological methods and/or animal experimentation
  • Advanced skills in basic methods of molecular biology, protein biochemistry, cell culture and statistical data analysis (required)
  • Good knowledge of the English language

We offer

We can provide a working environment that offers equal opportunities regardless of age, gender, sexual identity, disability, origin or religion. We uphold this by our adherence to the Diversity Charter. Specifically, we are aiming to increase the proportion of women in positions of leadership, in particular academic personnel in research and teaching. Priority consideration will be given to women in the event of equal qualification. The same applies in the event of one gender being underrepresented in the recruiting department. People with a severe disability will be given priority where they have equal aptitude, qualifications and professional expertise.

Send application to

PD Dr. Jan-Eric Turner (Email:, Phone (direct) 0049 152 2281 5858).

Selected Publications:
  • Düster M, Becker M, Gnirck AC, Wunderlich M, Panzer U, Turner JE: T cell-derived IFN-γ downregulates protective group 2 innate lymphoid cells in murine lupus erythematosus. Eur J Immunol, 48: 1364-1375, 2018.
  • Riedel JH, Becker M, Kopp K, Düster M, Brix SR, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Kluth LA, Gnirck AC, Attar M, Krohn S, Fehse B, Stahl RA, Panzer U, Turner JE: IL-33-Mediated Expansion of Type 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells Protects from Progressive Glomerulosclerosis. J Am Soc Nephrol, 28: 2068-2080, 2017.
  • Turner JE, Morrison PJ, Wilhelm C, Wilson M, Ahlfors H, Renauld JC, Panzer U, Helmby H, Stockinger B: IL-9-mediated survival of type 2 innate lymphoid cells promotes damage control in helminth-induced lung inflammation. J Exp Med, 210: 2951-65, 2013.
  • Hirota K, Turner JE, Villa M, Duarte JH, Demengeot J, Steinmetz OM, Stockinger B: Plasticity of TH17 cells in Peyer's patches is responsible for the induction of T cell-dependent IgA responses. Nat Immunol, 14: 372-9, 2013.
  • Turner JE, Paust HJ, Steinmetz OM, Peters A, Riedel JH, Erhardt A, Wegscheid C, Velden J, Fehr S, Mittrucker HW, Tiegs G, Stahl RA, Panzer U: CCR6 recruits regulatory T cells and Th17 cells to the kidney in glomerulonephritis. J Am Soc Nephrol, 21: 974-85, 2010.

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