Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d)

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Bonn, Germany
Salary Commensurate with Experience
May 17, 2020
Jun 17, 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Entry Level

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a unique non-university research center which is dedicated to the subject dementia and all its areas, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. The center compasses the full spectrum of fundamental research through population sciences to health care research. The DZNE stands for excellence in research and science management, translation of scientific results into practice, interdisciplinarity and internationalization. It is a research center within the Helmholtz Organization of German research centers. With over 1,000 employees from 60 nations, spread over 10 sites, the DZNE is one of the national and international leading research centers in its research field.

The DZNE in Bonn is looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d)

Code 1809/2020/5

The group of Prof. Pierluigi Nicotera studies the contribution of calcium signaling to synaptic plasticity in pathophysiology. In invertebrates as well as in higher organisms, we elucidated the importance of H3.3 loading to longevity pathways as well as to Ca2+-dependent transcriptional induction of immediate early genes upon neuronal activation (Michod D. et al, 2012; Piazzesi A. et al, 2016). In rodents, we showed that treatment with psychoactive drugs alters Ryanodine Receptor 2 (RyR2) and miR-29a/b expression, influencing neuronal plasticity and cognitive performance (Ziviani E. et al, 2010; Lippi G. et al, 2011). As a continuation of our program, newly obtained lines of evidence demonstrated that Ca2+ remodeling contributes to the maintenance and, possibly, biogenesis of dendritic spines. In this regard, pharmacological as well as genetic manipulation of intracellular Ca2+ signaling causes aberrant neuronal network activity associated with pronounced dendritic degeneration and learning deficits (Bertan F. et al, under consideration for publication). Our results suggest molecular commonalities with some features associated with common neurodegenerative diseases, in which enhanced neuronal hyperexcitability occurs at a very early stage.

Your profile

We are seeking a highly motivated and science-driven postdoctoral researcher with a strong interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative processes.

As part of our research program (Ziviani E. et al, 2010; Michod D. et al, 2012; Bertan F. et al, 2020), we wish to define those molecular factors that regulate spine remodeling and biogenesis in neurons with aberrant Ca2+ signaling. Starting from a recently performed proteomic analysis, we will validate candidates that may control dendritic spine morphogenesis in iPSC-derived neurons as well as in transgenic mice. We are interested to explore the pathways underlying spine-to-nucleus signaling and consequent epigenetic regulation (e.g., chromatin remodeling) of transcriptional profiles. Based on our current findings, we expect to identify novel modulators of neuronal function with possible implications for cognitive function in health and disease.

The project consists of a 1+2 years-contract and is designed on a well-established line of research (Ziviani E. et al, 2010; Lippi G. et al, 2011; Michod D. et al, 2012; Piazzesi A. et al, 2016; Bertan F. et al, 2020). It encompasses a variety of methods and approaches, including genetics, confocal laser microscopy, immunocytochemistry / immunohistochemistry, cellular biology (e.g., mouse-derived cells and human iPSCs), biochemistry and tissue preparation from transgenic mice. Previous experience with iPSCs and/or handling of transgenic mice (including FELASA certificate) is a major plus. The successful candidate is also a team player.

We offer

  • An interesting and challenging task in a research center that works on the future topics of health research
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • A high potential for the individual development of our employees
  • Targeted personnel development
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are determined by the Public Sector Collective Agreement (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst – TVöD Bund).

You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification during your activities at DZNE. The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.

Please apply via:

Interviews will take place in September 2020. The position is available starting from October 2020.