PhD Position in Immunology

University Hospital Erlangen


PhD Position in Immunology

25.025 Stunden
auf 45 Monate befristet
ab 01.04.2024
Eingruppierung gemäß TV-L
Bewerbungsfrist 29.02.2024
Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
Immunmodulatorische Abteilung
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Steinkasserer PhD
Hartmannstr. 14
91052 Erlangen
Ansprechperson bei Fragen
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Steinkasserer PhD
Leiter der Immunmodulatorischen Abteilung
Telefon: +49(0)9131 85-36725

PhD position (f/m/d)
Veröffentlicht seit: 17.01.2024
Job-Nr.: 7391

Klingt spannend?
Das sind wir:

State-of-the-art medicine and nursing care you can rely on! - Since being founded in 1815, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen has offered medicine of the highest standard and incorporated the latest insights from medical research and state-of-the-art equipment into diagnosis and therapy. More than 9.500 employees from approximately 50 different occupations are needed to provide the wide range of services offered by Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, ensuring our patients receive the very best care around the clock.

Your tasks:

Ocular surface inflammation is involved in multiple ophthalmological diseases leading to corneal hem- and lymphangiogenesis and hence to corneal blindness. Previous studies on autoimmunity and transplantation have shown that the soluble form of the CD83 molecule (sCD83) ameliorates inflammation via the induction of tolerogenic dendritic cells (tDCs) and alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs), both inducing resolution of inflammation and establishing long-term immune tolerance. We have previously shown that sCD83 prolongs the survival of corneal transplants in a high-risk murine keratoplasty model, which is mechanistically mediated via the upregulation of the immune modulators IDO and TGF-ß, leading to the induction/expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs). Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) as a key activator of latent TGF-ß serves as a regulator of inflammatory immune responses. In addition, it plays an important role during wound healing. Mice lacking TSP-1 show an altered immune response, which involves the aberrant maturation of antigen-presenting cells such as dendritic cells (DCs), T cell activation, and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines.

Within this project, we aim to investigate if and how sCD83 modulates TSP-1 expression and thereby TGF-ß production in the context of inflammation and wound healing, using WT and TSP-1 KO animals.

In addition, Herpes viruses such as the Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) can induce strong proinflammatory immune responses in the corneal stroma via activation of mature proinflammatory DCs and classically activated macrophages (CAMs), leading to herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK).

In this project, the candidate will investigate the hypothesis that sCD83 can induce long-term resolution of inflammation in the immune-mediated TSP-1 deficient mice as well as in herpetic stromal keratitis. The knowledge gained within this project will improve our understanding of the basic concept of inflammatory disorders and may open avenues for new therapeutic strategies to treat patients with severe ocular surface inflammation. Key methods: in vivo models, flow cytometry, cytokine bead array, cell culture, functional assays, IHC, IF, live cell imaging, qRT-PCR, scRNA-seq, bioinformatics, Western blot.

Essential experience/ qualifications:

  • A master degree
  • Experience with biochemical and immunological methods, possibly professional experience under S1 and S2 conditions

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