The Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is a joint medical faculty, which serves both Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. As one of the largest university hospitals in Europe with an important history, it plays a leading role in research, teaching and clinical care. The Charité university hospital has also made a name for itself as a modern business with certifications in the medical, clinical and management fields.
PhD position on extracellular Matrix in bone tissue regeneration
BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies, Research group "Cellular Biomechanics and Biomaterials"
Despite considerable advances in bone fracture care, more than 10% of patients experience delayed or compromised fracture healing. Major risk factors for this clinical challenge are an increased adipocyte accumulation in the bone marrow and an altered immune cell composition, both occurring during aging. In a research project within the consortium of the SFB 1444, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), we aim to identify alterations of extracellular matrix (ECM) properties associated to these compromised conditions and their consequences for progenitor cell function during healing. More specifically, we are interested in the ECM of the progenitor cell niche within the bone marrow and the ECM deposited by bone marrow cells when recruited to the fracture site.
To investigate changes in the ECM and cell function, a careful histological and biophysical characterization will be performed on ex vivo bone marrow samples and isolated mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Tissue healing will be studied in vitro via existing 3D microtissue culture systems that will be adapted within the project to incorporate the influence of the immune system. To dissect the role of the ECM for cell function and fate, cellular components will be removed via decellularization and the instructive nature of the resulting ECM niche for MSCs will be studied. The methods used will inter alia include immunohistology, confocal microscopy, ELISA, mass spectrometry and mechanical characterization on the cell and tissue level. All methods are available in house. The gained knowledge will serve as a basis for the future development of cell-instructive biomaterials to compensate compromised healing conditions.
The project will be embedded into the existing SFB consortium but will provide sufficient freedom for the PhD-candidate to contribute with own ideas and to include his/her own scientific curiosity.
What we expect:
Education in biology, engineering, physics or related fields (master-degree or equivalent)
Solid cell culture experience
Experience in gene expression analysis and western blotting would be favorable
Experience in scientific writing and publishing
Very good written and spoken English language skills
Enthusiasm, strong motivation and team spirit
Scientific staff is given sufficient time to carry out their own scientific work in accordance with their employment relationship.
What we offer:
Cutting-edge research in an interdisciplinary field with clinical relevance
A supportive team and strong collaboration to partner institutes within the SFB program
Cutting-edge methods e.g. 3D micro-tissue culture, 3D immunohistology and microscopy, bioreactor-based decellularization, traction force microscopy, nanoindentation
A friendly, collaborative, international and communicative environment
Please send all application documents, e.g. cover letter, curriculum vitae, certificates, attestations, etc. to the following address, quoting the reference number to:
BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies
Föhrer Str. 15
DIE CHARITÉ – UNIVERSITÄTSMEDIZIN BERLIN makes its human resources decisions based on suitability, competence and professional performance. At the same time, it strives to increase the percentage of women in management positions and takes this into consideration where candidates are equally qualified within the limits of what is legally possible. Applications from people with a migrant background are also explicitly welcome. Severely disabled applicants are given preferential consideration in the case of candidates with equal qualifications. An extended certificate of conduct must be submitted. Any travel expenses incurred cannot be reimbursed. Data protection notice: Charité points out that personal data is stored and processed as part of the application process