RTG 2338 Targets in Toxicology

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MD position (w/m/d) - P06 Establishing multiplexing methods for high content single cell/nuclei perturbation analysis in human lung organotypic model systems

Offer: MD Scholarship for doctoral thesis
Starting Date: Individually
Institute: Helmholtz Munich
Working Group: Schiller Lab – Cell Circuits in Systems Biomedicine of Lung Disease

Research Topic: Exploring Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Pulmonary Fibrosis


Fibrogenesis is a physiological wound healing and repair mechanism. However, non-resolving fibrogenesis leads to fibrosis, a pathological condition characterized by the accumulation of excessive extracellular matrix. Dysregulated fibrogenesis is a hallmark of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), the most common form of Interstitial Lung Disease. Despite its heavy burden on public health, there is currently no cure for IPF, only therapeutic strategies available to slow tissue damage. With a median survival rate of 3-5 years without treatment, lung transplantation is often the only option for IPF patients.

In this project, we will use peri-tumor lung tissues as well as IPF explants to generate human precision-cut lung slices (hPCLS), an ex vivo tissue culture model. We will treat hPCLS with different drugs and study the response of all major tissue resident cells while they are still embedded in their natural niche environment. We will utilize the single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) method to identify the various cell types involved in pulmonary fibrosis and analyze the effect of the drug treatments on these cells.

We anticipate that this novel approach will ultimately enable the simultaneous discovery and pre-clinical translation of novel pro-regenerative therapies for pulmonary fibrosis patients.


As holder of this scholarship you are a member of the Research Training Group (RTG) GRK 2338 “Targets in Toxicology”. The GRK represents a truly international program and benefits from an excellent scientific environment and a state-of-the-art research infrastructure.
As member of the RTG you have to participate in the lecture series “Toxicology of the lung” (once a month) and the annual Research Retreat (once a year). All other courses offered by the GRK can be attended optionally. For more information about the RTG GRK 2338 please visit the following website: https://www.grk2338.med.uni-muenchen.de/index.html


The scholarship will be given for 12 months, a minimum of 8 months full-time in the laboratory is required. The monthly scholarship payment is 1.037 €. In addition, a total amount of 400 € in lab consumables per month is available.


This project will suit a student with a background in medicine or biology or similar field with an interest in translational research into mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis. To complete the project you will need to develop skills in molecular biology techniques and wet lab work. Experience with scRNA-seq is not required but will be developed during the project. There will be regular contact with supervisors but you should also be comfortable working independently. By completing this project the student will be exposed to a cutting edge experimental systems biology research group, develop a range of research and problem-solving skills and become familiar with the challenges of method development, data analysis, and biological interpretation of single cell transcriptomic data.


If you want to apply for this scholarship, send an application (CV, project title, motivation letter and certificates) to S.Resenberger@lmu.de by 1st September 2023. For project-specific questions please contact Dr. Herbert Schiller (herbert.schiller@helmholtz-muenchen.de).
Women and people from other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply and we will seek to provide any support you require to complete the project.

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