PhD Position in Mechanobiology: Mechanobiological regulation of breast epithelium organization and cell invasion

Forschungszentrum Jülich - FZJ - Helmholtz Association

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

ICS-7 - Biomechanik

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Starting date:


Contract time limit:


Job description:

Our profileWe focus on mechanobiology to study the vital feedback loop between cells and mechanical cues from their environment and how these stimuli in turn shape cell mechanics. We are using and developing cutting-edge tools from molecular cell biology and biophysics to apply defined mechanical stimuli to cells and tissues in order to quantify cell responses. We apply advanced live cell microscopy and immunofluorescence imaging on cells and tissues cultured in mechanically defined environments to quantify cell responses. Biologists, physicists and chemists work hand in hand to accomplish the challenging scientific tasks in the fascinating field of mechanobiology. We put great value in teamwork and excellent supervision.

Your tasksYou will be part of the DFG-funded graduate school Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs (ME3T; and work at the FZJ. In project A2 'Mechanobiological regulation of breast epithelium organization and cell invasion’, you will investigate the role of basement membranes (BM) as regulator of epithelial tissue homeostasis in human 3D breast cell acini. You will employ our in house designed mechanical stress device to study cellular response to active shear stress, mechanical pressure and ECM stiffening. You will use our nanosurgery set up to induce local BM damage and quantify invasion related cellular forces. Gene expression analysis will give new insights into the cellular adaptations upon mechanical stresses. The applicant must be accepted as a Dr. rer. nat. candidate at the faculty of Sciences of Bonn University.

Your profileYou have completed your studies in biology, biotechnology or biophysics very successfully with a M.Sc. degree. During your studies you have developed a “love for science” and acquired knowledge in the fields of biophysics and/or cell biology. You should have experience in standard techniques as light microscopy, live cell imaging and animal cell culture. Now, you search for a highly relevant transdisciplinary PhD project and you are highly motivated to work in a vivid scientific environment. You distinguish yourself by endurance, self-reliance and by an excellent capacity for teamwork. You are fluent in written and spoken English.

Pay category: TVöD Bund 13

Hiring date: from July 01, 2019

Duration of employment: limited until June 30, 2022

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-2019D-014