PhD position (Ageing & DIsease): Deciphering the involvement of A20-regulated molecules in CNS endothelial cells in autoimmune neuroinflammation (m/f/d)

  • Contract
  • Germany
  • Posted 2 months ago

International PhD Programme (IPP) Mainz

22 Sep 2023
Job Information

International PhD Programme (IPP) Mainz
Institute of Molecular Biology
Research Field
Biological sciences
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
8 Nov 2023 – 12:00 (Europe/Berlin)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

Thinking of doing your PhD in the Life Sciences? The International PhD Programme  (IPP) Mainz is offering talented students the chance to work at the cutting edge of research. As an IPP PhD student, you will join a community of exceptional scientists working on diverse topics ranging from how organisms age or how our DNA is repaired, to how epigenetics regulates cellular identity or neural memory.


Activities and responsibilities:

In the field of “Ageing & Disease”, the research group of Ari Waisman offers the following PhD project:

Endothelial cells are a key component of the blood-brain barrier which represents the major interface between the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery. During CNS diseases such as the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS), endothelial cells become activated which allows for the infiltration of peripherally-derived immune cells into the otherwise immune-privileged CNS parenchyma. Many of the signaling molecules that lead to the activation of CNS endothelial cells signal via the inflammatory NF-κB signaling pathway. One of the key players for the regulation of this pathway is the ubiquitin modifying enzyme A20. The knockout of A20 in CNS endothelial cells results in their dramatic activation even in the absence of inflammatory signaling molecules and drives the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for MS. In earlier work we found several molecules upregulated in the A20-deficient CNS endothelial cells which are likely associated with immune cell infiltration and the development of neuroinflammation.

PhD project: Deciphering the involvement of A20-regulated molecules in CNS endothelial cells in autoimmune neuroinflammation

The aim of the project is to decipher the contribution of genes that are either up- or downregulated in A20-deficient CNS endothelial cells to the development of with the aim to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention. The work of the PhD candidate(s) will include the validation and characterization of the kinetics of recently identified A20-regulated molecules in CNS endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo. By applying AAV-mediated gene silencing, the PhD candidate(s) will furthermore determine the contribution of the different molecules to the disease severity in an EAE mouse model. The project focuses in two directions: Which consequences does the differential expression of specific endothelial cell markers have 1) on immune cell recruitment and infiltration from the periphery and 2) on the activation status of CNS-resident cells such as astrocytes. The work of the PhD candidate(s) will include working with mouse models, primary cell cultures, applying high-dimensional flow cytometry as well as state of the art single cell techniques. Theoretical and practical knowledge in molecular and cell biology are expected for successful candidates.

If you are interested in one of these projects, please select Waisman as your group preference in the IPP application platform.


What we offer:

  • Exciting, interdisciplinary projects in a fully international environment, with English as our working language
  • Advanced training in scientific techniques and professional skills
  • Access to our state-of-the-art Core Facilities and their technical expertise
  • Fully funded positions with financing until the completion of your thesis
  • A lively community of more than 190 PhD students from 44 different countries



Are you an ambitious, young scientist looking to push the boundaries of science while interacting with colleagues from multiple disciplines and cultures? Then the IPP is your opportunity to give your scientific career a flying start!


All you need is:

  • Master or equivalent
  • Interactive personality & good command of English
  • 2 letters of reference


For more details on the projects offered and how to apply via our online form, please visit

The deadline for applications is 8 November 2023. Interviews will take place at IMB in Mainz on 22-24 January 2024.

Starting date: 1 March 2024 – 1 August 2024


Research Field
Biological sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent

Additional Information
Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
International PhD Programme (IPP) Mainz

Where to apply



Ackermannweg 4
Postal Code


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