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PhD student (f/m/d) Institute of Molecular Medicine

Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
52074, Aachen (DE)
Closing date
1 Dec 2023

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Job Type
PhD Position
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

As a tertiary and quaternary level provider of medical care, the University Hospital of RWTH Aachen combines patient-oriented medicine and care, teaching and research at an international level. The entire spectrum of medical care is provided through 36 specialist departments, 33 institutes and six interdisciplinary units. The co-location of patient care, research and teaching in a central building offers the best conditions for intensive interdisciplinary exchange and close clinical and scientific networking. Highly qualified teams of doctors, nurses and scientists work collaboratively to optimise the healthcare provision of our local, regional, national and international patients. Around 9,000 employees ensure that our care delivery is patient-oriented medicine and surpasses the highest quality standards. With 1,400 beds, the university hospital treats around 50,000 inpatient and 200,000 outpatient cases per year.


The Institute of Molecular Medicine is looking for a


PhD student (f/m/d)


The full-time position (38,5 h./week) is available at the Graduate School from the SFB "Gut-liver axis" ( to study the immune interaction between gut and liver during tumorigenesis, starts as soon as possible and is funded for 3 years. The successful applicants will be encouraged to work towards a doctorate degree.


The intestine is a key organ in the induction of immune tolerance, among others through Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs). It directly communicates with the liver, another organ with high tolerogenic potential. Gut-liver communication is critical for immune homeostasis. However, it also contributes to cancer pathogenesis by exploiting pathways of tissue regeneration and immune tolerance to favour tumour growth and dissemination.


Indeed, liver metastasis and cachexia associated with liver dysfunction are major factors in the pathogenesis induced by intestinal tumours in humans. The inflammatory mechanisms driving these processes most likely run in parallel and influence each other. In this project, we aim to use a combined approach employing mouse models and human tissue samples to address how tumours manipulate immune gut-liver communication.


In this project, you will analyse how tumor-related changes in the intestinal immune environment affect liver responses. You will use state of the art methods of cellular and molecular biology, such as high end flow cytometry (5-laser Cytek Aurora), transcriptional analysis, metabolomics and microscopy to understand how tumor-related signals in the gut change the liver environment to promote tumor growth and metastasis in mouse and humans.



  • Perform high end flow cytometry
  • Transcriptional analysis of immune subsets
  • Multiomic analysis of immune and tissue samples
  • Microscopy
  • Analysis of mouse models and comparison with results from patients


Requirements for the candidate:

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in biology, biochemistry or a closely related subject
  • Strong interest in mucosal immunology and/or tumour immunology
  • Practical experience in basic lab techniques
  • Highly motivated, engaged and excited to work in an international team
  • Proficient in spoken and written English (Level C1)
  • Experience with animal models, flow cytometry and histology will be an advantage
  • Ability to work as part of an international team to analyse and interpret data


Why should you choose us?

  • 300 professions under one roof - more variety is not possible
  • We offer performance-based remuneration in accordance with the provisions of TV-L (EG13), including attractive public service benefits
  • In addition to a wide range of further education and training opportunities we offer a wide range of health promotion options as well as the extensive university sports program
  • Monthly employee discounts through our corporate benefits program to save on private shopping
  • Flexible working hours so that you can better combine work and private life, because your work-life balance is important to us
  • Attractive conditions for public transport or discounted employee parking so that you have a relaxed commute
  • A company kindergarten so that your children are always close by


This position is not gender specific.


The RWTH Aachen University Hospital promotes equal opportunities and diversity. Applications from women are expressly encouraged and if the applicant is suitable qualified, they will be given priority in accordance with the LGG. If suitably qualified, people with a registered disability will also receive priority.


Weekly hours are negotiable.


You should preferably use our digital application portal at for your application. There you have the option of securing your documents in the electronic application folder to prevent unauthorized access. Applications that reach us by email to: (this transmission path cannot be as effectively secured) will be transferred to the aforementioned portal and any accompanying documents will be disposed of in accordance with data protection regulations immediately after transfer. After the retention period has expired, the data in the portal will also be deleted. If you do not agree to a transfer to the Application portal your application cannot be considered.


The application deadline for the advertised position GB-P-46066 is 30th of November 2023.


Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Pauwelsstr.30, 52074 Aachen.


For more detailed information please contact Dr. rer. nat. Ana Izcue, Tel.: +49 (0)241-80 85782, E-Mail:


Apply online

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