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PhD Student (f/m/x) “Molecular Genetics of Molecular Neurodegeneration”

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Ulm, Baden-Württemberg (DE)
Competitive salary
Closing date
Dec 23, 2022

Job Details

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a world-leading internationally oriented research center, committed to discovering new approaches to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases. To this end, researchers at ten DZNE sites across Germany pursue a translational and interdisciplinary strategy comprising five interconnected areas: fundamental research, clinical research, health care research, population health science, and systems medicine (

For the DZNE site in Ulm, we are inviting applications for a

PhD Student (f/m/x) “Molecular Genetics of Molecular Neurodegeneration”

Code 6028/2022/11

The group of Prof. Karin Danzer (DZNE Ulm site) “Mechanisms of Propagation”, where this position will be located, study the underlying mechanisms in disease propagation and spreading in neurodegenerative diseases with a main focus on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Using innovative animal models and patient samples we try to understand how and why protein aggregates are transmitted from cell to cell (e.g. Kiechle et al. Cell Rep. 2019, Streit et-al. Nat. Comm 2022). We will take these analyses to the next level by multiomic approaches combining single cell RNA sequencing as well as epigenetic profiling of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. We are exploring transmission to non-neuronal cells and try to pinpoint the contribution of peripheral inflammation, generating a comprehensive map of the molecular alterations defining neurodegenerative processes based on animal models as well as human patients. Furthermore, epigenetic profiling of different cell populations in the brain allows us to discover new pathways involved in ALS, PD, and FTD and identify new therapeutic targets.

Your tasks

  • Analysis of single cell multiomic experiments including animal models as well as patient material regarding ALS and PD
  • Integration and interpretation of large-scale genomics and proteomics data sets
  • Advice on experimental design for ideal data output
  • Development of user-friendly tools for data analysis and tracking of experiments
  • Preparation and writing of manuscripts for publication in international scientific journals
  • Oral presentation of results on local, national, and international conferences
  • Interface between scientists working in the lab and bioinformatical analysis


  • Master's degree in bioinformatics, physics, computer science, molecular medicine, or a related field
  • Technical knowledge on the field of genomics and sequencing, and its implications on data analysis would be ideal
  • Practical knowledge of data analysis using R or Python
  • Experience in using classical statistical methods and ideally also new modern concepts
  • First experiences with or knowledge of Java or in designing and querying databases is a plus
  • Strong willingness to learn new tools for data analysis
  • A keen interest in neurodegenerative diseases
  • A good command of the English language is a prerequisite

We are looking for highly motivated candidates who are open-minded, creative team players, enthusiastic, have the ability to think critically as well as strong analytical and good social skills.

The successful candidate will be assisting to coordinate and direct the project. Therefore, excellent communication and team working skills are mandatory. The postdoc will also be able to acquire additional methods and skills (e.g. molecular biology) during the course of this postdoctoral fellowship if needed.

We offer

  • A well-funded research project at the cutting edge of neurodegeneration research
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure and state-of-the-art techniques
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • Working in an international team within a stimulating research environment and very well-equipped laboratories
  • A high potential for the individual development of our employees (including targeted personnel development)
  • A full-time position, initially temporary limited to two years, with possible extension
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits are determined by the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst [TVöD-Bund])

Please submit your application using our online system accessible via the APPLY button, consisting of your CV (including peer reviewed publications and identifying two references) and a brief cover letter (max. one page) stating your motivation and prior experience relating to this project.

If you have further questions, please contact

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

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


The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) investigates the causes of diseases of the nervous system and develops strategies for prevention, treatment and care. It is an institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres with nine sites across Germany (Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Munich, Rostock/Greifswald, Tübingen and Witten). The DZNE cooperates closely with universities, their clinics and other research facilities.

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