Open Positions

PhD student 

starting October 2020
salary according to TV-L, 50%

PhD position in biology/biophysics


The University Medical Center of Göttingen (UMG), Dpt. of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, offers a PhD position in a research project analyzing the


“Communication between neutrophilic granulocytes and other cells of the innate and adaptive immune system”


The position will be available from July 10th or at the earliest possible date and is initially limited to 3 years (salary according to TV-L, 50%).



Cells of the innate immune system communicate with each other and with cells of the adaptive immune system to orchestrate immunologic responses. Communication between cells influence important cellular functions such as apoptosis, production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and collective cell behavior. Interestingly, the signaling molecules that neutrophilic granulocytes use to communicate with each other, are poorly characterized. 


The goal of this project is to assess how neutrophils produce and release these signaling molecules, which receptors are engaged on the neutrophil surface and which biological effects certain signaling molecules have in neutrophil biology. Additionally, we will investigate interactions between neutrophils and other cells of the immune system such as B- and T-cells. 

Prospectively, the project can be extended to encompass the interactions between neutrophils and tumor cells, particularly melanoma cells, as neutrophils appear to play a pivotal role in tumor-immunology. 


We have a strong focus on microscopy (including life-cell imaging, confocal microscopy and reflection interference microscopy), physical methods such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), as well as nanotechnology-based methods to detect signaling molecules in real-time and at a very high spatial and temporal resolution. Cell culture techniques, working with primary human cells and patient samples as well as murine models will also be part of this project.


About us: 

Settled at the interface of immunology, medicine and biophysics, this project will be supervised by PD Dr. Luise Erpenbeck, MD (Dpt. of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology) in cooperation with Dr. Sebastian Kruss, PhD (Institute for Physical Chemistry, Göttingen). Dr. Erpenbeck’s research focuses on innate immunity in inflammatory diseases, while Dr. Kruss has a long-standing interest in biophysical aspects of cellular behavior and on nanothechnology. 

The student will be enrolled in one of the GGNB graduate programs (Molecular Medicine, Neurobiology or Physics of Complex Biological Systems).



We offer

·      The possibility to work on an interdisciplinary, cutting-edge project

·      Two well-equipped, modern laboratories with state-of-the-art technology

·      A highly motivated research team


Required qualifications


·      Motivation to solve complex biological problems

·      A strong interest in learning methods new from different disciplines

·      The ability to think outside the box and to combine results from different fields 

·      Master or Diploma in biology, physics, biophysics, biochemistry or a similar discipline


Starting date: December 2018 or as soon as possible

Duration: 3 years

Deadline for registration: January 31, 2019, please contact me via email if you are interested in the position (


Unsolicited applications

We are almost always looking for enthusiastic students (PhD or MD) who would like to  explore the mysteries of innate immunity with us. Even if no position is listed here, we encourage you to contact us, often we can work something out!