PhD student (f/m/d) Aerosol Toxicology

Helmholtz-Center München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU) - HMGU - Helmholtz Association

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Work group:


Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Starting date:


Contract time limit:


Job description:

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle.

The AeroHEALTH Helmholtz International Lab is a German-Israeli research initiative, addressing the health effects of fresh and atmospherically aged anthropogenic and biogenic aerosol emissions. The most relevant anthropogenic aerosol sources include biomass burning, traffic as well as industrial emissions. Important natural emissions comprise e.g. gaseous biogenic emissions, wildfires or abrasive (desert) dust. In the atmosphere new aerosol particles are formed (e.g. secondary organic aerosol, SOA) and the primary particles are chemically and physically transformed. The AeroHEALTH research approach is based on simulation of the polluted atmosphere and the photochemical transformation of aerosols in atmospheric simulation chambers or photochemical reactors. In addition to a thorough physical and chemical characterisation the aerosols are subjected to biological systems such as human lung cell cultures using special exposure systems for mimicking the lung situation. The biological and toxicological responses are characterized by advanced molecular biological approaches (incl. omics technologies). Bio informatics and modern data science is applied to link the complex exposure situation with the biological outcomes and human health data.

Within the international research network “AeroHEALTH” the impact of atmospheric aerosols on health is investigated. Applying state-of-the-art exposure and analytical techniques, the response on different biological levels is examined to obtain more detailed information about the molecular mechanisms of effects. The adverse outcomes are analyzed after exposure to primary emissions as well as to aerosols that were artificially aged in atmospheric relevant conditions.

Therefore, the cooperation group Comprehensive Molecular Analytics (CMA) is seeking, preferably as of April 2019, a PhD student (f/m/d) for the investigation of adverse effects of aged aerosols in inhalation-relevant cell culture models.

PhD student (f/m/d) Aerosol Toxicology

Job Description:

Assessment  of adverse effects of artificially aged aerosols from combustion processesRealization of in vitro aerosol exposures at the air-liquid-interface (ALI)Development of more realistic ALI cell culture models (e.g. lung cells, macrophages, co-cultures)Establishment and application of several cell stress assays Analysis of omics data sets (transcriptome, proteome and metabolome)Participation in measurement campaigns (also abroad)Instruction of master students and technical personnelWriting of publications and third party funding proposals

Your Qualifications:

Master´s degree or diploma in biology, biochemistry or in a related disciplinePractical knowledge in cell culture and microscopy techniquesPractical knowledge in extraction techniques for biomolecules (e.g.  RNA, proteins, metabolites)Ideally practical knowledge in ALI cell exposure and/or omics techniquesStrong motivation, flexibility and social competenceWillingness to cooperate in an interdisciplinary team (e.g. with biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers)Very good skills in spoken and written English

Our Offer

At the Helmholtz Zentrum München, you can contribute together with leading researchers to the investigation of the development, prevention and treatment of environmental diseases such as diabetes, chronic lung diseases and allergies. In order to further promote your professional development, we offer extensive and targeted research training and career programmes. We support the reconciliation between work and private life with flexible working time models, occupational health management, day care facility for children, a childcare subsidy, Elder Care, as well as other counseling and support services.

Remuneration and benefits are in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance amounting to 15% if the necessary conditions are fulfilled.

The position is (initially) limited to three years.

You have the possibility for PhD graduation at the University of Rostock.

The activity involves special knowledge and experience specific to own scientific skills.

As a holder of the Total E-Quality Award, we promote equality of opportunity. Applications from women are welcome. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.

We are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive online application until January the 26th 2019.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-2018/0596