Open positions at MOCA

Im Institut für Molekulare und Zelluläre Anatomie der Uniklinik RWTH Aachen sind zum frühestmöglichen Zeitpunkt folgende Stellen zu besetzen: 

We are currently seeking a highly motivated student (f/m) for an internship project on

“Cytoskeleton Remodeling in Mesenchymal Cell Migration”

Your project:

Mesenchymal cell migration is characterized by the polarization of the cell body with the formation of membrane protrusions, such as lamellipodia and filopodia, the formation of focalized cell-matrix interaction followed by the retraction of cell rear by active cellular contraction.

It has been long observed that cells can assume different body orientation and shape during mesenchymal-type migration having either a highly polarized shape (fibroblast and neutrophils) or more round/oval-like shape (keratinocytes). From a theoretical point of view, it has been proposed that this is due to the regulation of the balance between pushing and pulling cytoskeleton elements.

This project aims to experimentally demonstrate the validity of the model with the investigation of the contribution of microtubules, actin fibers and intermediate filaments in regulating cell shape. The project will be in close collaboration with the Institute for Theoretical Soft Matter and Biophysics headed by Prof. Gompper at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Relevant publications:

  • Clara Abaurrea-Velasco, Thorsten Auth, Gerhard Gompper “Self-organized motility of vesicle with internal active filaments”, airXiv:1812.09932, 2018.

We offer:

We offer a highly interdisciplinary, creative, active research group. The successful candidate will be closely supervised in order to let her/him maturate in technical and analytical skills.

Your skills and qualifications:

“Must have”

  • Background in bioengineering, biophysics, biology or related disciplines
  • Motivation to get the best out of this experience
  • Wish to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Focused and team-oriented
  • English proficiency (written and spoken)

“Nice to have”

  • Experience in mammalian cell culture
  • Familiarity with Matlab and ImageJ or related software


If you are interested, please contact

Dr. Jacopo Di Russo
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
RWTH Aachen University
Wendlingweg 2
52074 Aachen
jdirussoukaachende
Phone: +49 241 80-88974

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We are currently seeking a highly motivated student (f/m) for master thesis project on

“Mechanobiological Characterization of Retinal Pigment Epithelium Collectives”

Your project:

Epithelia structure and functions are not defined by biochemical processes alone but are also highly dependent on their physical characteristics. These have been shown to be emerging proprieties of cell collectives, not predictable from single cell biomechanics. The ECM underlying epithelia is a pivotal player in both signaling of biochemical information to the cells and in controlling mechanical properties.

Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is localized at the base of the retinal neuroepithelium and it is critical for its metabolic support and function as light detector. As in all epithelia, RPE cells tightly adhere to the underlying basement membrane (BM), which is the proximal part of the thicker ECM layer called Bruch’s membrane (BrM). The planned project combines hydrogel systems to mimic BrM interactions with the RPE and investigation of how this affects the cell monolayer mechanics. Mechanobiology techniques such as traction force microscopy and monolayer stress microscopy will be combined with hydrogels surface nanopatterning techniques to systematically understand BrM contribution of RPE mechanics.

Relevant publications:

  • Di Russo J. et al “NTA-Co3+-His6 versus NTA-Ni2+-His6 mediated E-Cadherin surface immobilization enhances cellular traction”, Biomaterials, 2018.
  • Vishwakarma M., Di Russo J. et al “Mechanical interactions among followers determines the emergence of leaders in migrating epithelial cell collectives”, Nature Communication, 2018.

We offer:

We offer a highly interdisciplinary, creative, active research group. The successful candidate will be closely supervised in order to let her/him maturate in technical and analytical skills.

Your skills and qualifications:

“Must have”

  • Background in biophysics, biology or related disciplines
  • Motivation to get the best out of this experience
  • Wish to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Focused and team-oriented
  • English proficiency (written and spoken)

“Nice to have”

  • Experience in mammalian cell culture
  • Familiarity with Matlab and ImageJ


If you are interested, please contact

Dr. Jacopo Di Russo
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
RWTH Aachen University
Wendlingweg 2
52074 Aachen
jdirussoukaachende
Phone: +49 241 80-88974

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30% of all pregnancies are lost during the early implantation phase. To increase the success rates of assisted reproductive technologies, a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms of this initial pregnancy phase is required. The project will focus on mechanical aspects of embryo implantation and the interaction between maternal and embryonic epithelia - i.e. the invading trophoblast and the barrier-forming uterine epithelium - via cell-cell contacts and their hormonal regulation

Job Description:

The successful candidate will

  • perform co-culture experiments with endometrial and trophoblast cell lines as well as with primary cells in an in vitro system for the investigation of endometrial receptivity
  • assess co-cultures by means of confocal and traction force microscopy
  • analyze mechanical cues of trophoblast-endometrial interaction.

Qualifications:

We are looking for a candidate with expertise in

  • histology
  • microscopical techniques
  • image analysis
  • cell culture methods

and with a background in cell biology and / or biophysics.


It is expected that the successful candidate is highly motivated to independently pursue the project as part of a PhD thesis.

Further information at www.moca.rwth-aachen.de.


Please send your application to:

Dr. Volker Buck
RWTH Aachen University
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
Wendlingweg 2
D-52074 Aachen
vbuckukaachende

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Keratin intermediate filaments are major constituents of the epithelial cytoskeleton. Their organizing function of cellular space is important for diverse epithelial functions requiring a high degree of keratin network plasticity. We have recently proposed that a continuous cycle of keratin filament assembly and disassembly facilitates rapid and precise adaptation to the different functional requirements.

The successful candidate will (i) further refine methods and tools for monitoring and manipulating the keratin cycle and its modulators, (ii) focus on identifying and characterizing the molecular motors involved in keratin movement and tension generation within the keratin network, and (iii) examine modulators of the keratin cycle that are identified in genetic screens.

We are looking for a candidate with experience in molecular biology, microscopical techniques and image analysis. The candidate should have a strong background in cell biology. It is expected that the successful candidate is highly motivated to independently pursue the DFG-funded project as a basis for a PhD thesis.

Further information

Please send your written application as soon as possible to:

Prof. Dr. Rudolf E. Leube
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy
RWTH Aachen
UniversityWendlingweg 2
52074 Aachen
rleubeukaachende

Our profile

Research at MOCA deals with the cytoskeleton as a main integrator of cell and tissue function. Particular emphasis is on the use of morphological and functional imaging techniques in vital cells, tissues and organisms (www.moca.ukaachende).

Your tasks

You will be part of the DFG-funded graduate school "Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs" (MEƎT; me3t.rwth-aachen.de). Your project A3 "Mechanobiology of adhesion during implantation and early placentation" combines 2D and 3D co-culture systems with state-of-the-art microscopy and mechanobiological analyses. You will (i) study the contribution of epithelial polarization and hormonal regulation on trophoblast-endometrial adhesion and penetration, and (ii) investigate the influence of connective tissue stiffness on trophoblast adhesion and migration.

Requirements

We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student with a strong background in cell biology or mechanobiology. Knowledge in the fields of biomaterials, tissue engineering and microscopy is appreciated, but no prerequisite. The successful applicant must have completed a master or equivalent degree in biology, biomedical engineering or a comparable study program to be accepted either as a Dr. rer. nat. or Dr. rer. medic. candidate at RWTH Aachen University. Willingness for teamwork, the ability to work independently and excellent English language skills are expected.

Further information

  • Pay category: TV-L 13 (65%)
  • Hiring date: July 01, 2019
  • Duration of employment: 3 years
  • Equal career prospects for women and men. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification will be given preferential consideration.

Contact

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rudolf Leube
Phone: +49 (0)241 80-89107
rleubeukaachende

Application deadline: March 31, 2019 (apply online)

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Our profile

Research at MOCA deals with the cytoskeleton as a main integrator of cell and tissue function. Particular emphasis is on the use of morphological and functional imaging techniques in vital cells, tissues and organisms (www.moca.ukaachende).

Your tasks

You will be part of the DFG-funded graduate school "Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs" (MEƎT; me3t.rwth-aachen.de). You are expected to work in an interdisciplinary team with a keen interest in novel technological developments. Your project B2 "Consequences of disease-causing cytoskeletal mutations on epidermal tissue stability" combines 3D culture systems with state-of-the-art microscopy and mechanobiological analyses. You will monitor cytoskeletal keratin network dynamics, measure local mechanical properties and study mechanoresponses in wild-type and mutant keratinocytes grown as monolayers and epidermal equivalents.

Requirements

We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student with a strong background in cell biology or mechanobiology. Knowledge in the fields of biomaterials, tissue engineering and microscopy is appreciated, but no prerequisite. The successful applicant must have completed a master or equivalent degree in biology, biomedical engineering or a comparable study program to be accepted either as a Dr. rer. nat. or Dr. rer. medic. candidate at RWTH Aachen University. Willingness for teamwork, the ability to work independently and excellent English language skills are expected.

Further information

  • Pay category: TV-L 13 (65%)
  • Hiring date: July 01, 2019
  • Duration of employment: 3 years
  • Equal career prospects for women and men. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification will be given preferential consideration.

Contact

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rudolf Leube
Phone: +49 (0)241 80-89107
rleubeukaachende

Application deadline: March 31, 2019 (apply online)

PDF Download

We are currently seeking a highly motivated student (f/m/x) for a project on

“Mechanobiological Characterization of Keratin Network in Epithelia Collectives”

Your project

Epithelia structure and functions are not defined by biochemical processes alone but are also highly dependent on their physical characteristics. These have been shown to be emerging proprieties of cell collectives, not predictable from single cell biomechanics. Regulation of cellular cytoskeleton plays a key role in controlling cell-cell communication and many studies have been elucidating the role of both actin and microtubules in cell collectives, but little is still known on the role of intermediate filaments such as Keratin. The project combines traction force microscopy and monolayer stress microscopy with bioinformatical analyses of keratin network dynamics to better characterize the role of keratin in regulating monolayer adhesion forces.

For more information on our research please visit dirusso.rwth-aachen.de and our research section.

We offer

We offer a highly interdisciplinary, creative, active research group. The successful candidate will be closely supervised in order to let her/him maturate in technical and analytical skills.

Your skills and qualifications

“Must have”

  • Background in (bio)physics, biology or related disciplines
  • Motivation to get the best out of this experience
  • Focused and team-oriented

“Nice to have”

  • Experience in mammalian cell culture
  • Familiarity with Matlab and ImageJ

Contact

If you are interested, please contact

Dr. Jacopo Di Russo
jdirussoukaachende
Phone: +49 241 80-88974

or

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Reinhard Windoffer
rwindofferukaachende
Phone: +49-241 80-89998

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