Standort: Vienna
Art: Dissertationsstelle
Firma: Medical University of Vienna
Eingetragen am: 2022-09-06

PhD Position (m/f/d) at the Center of Anatomy and Cell Biology


We are searching for a highly motivated PhD student to join a FWF-funded research project on the role of the cytolinker protein plectin in normal and diseased heart. Plectin is a cytoskeletal linker protein with a multitude of cellular functions. Its pivotal role in mechanical stress-bearing tissues in humans is highlighted by the fact that mutations in the human plectin gene (PLEC) cause a variety of diseases associated with skin blistering and skeletal muscle weakness. Plectinopathies belong to the group of rare diseases with an incidence of less than 5 affected individuals in 10,000. Beyond skin and skeletal muscle involvement, PLEC mutations also cause a broad spectrum of cardiac disease manifestations. However, very little is currently known about the role of plectin and its individual isoforms in normal and diseased hearts

The successful candidate will be part of a collaborative research team at the Medical University of Vienna and the University Hospital Erlangen, Germany. She/he will apply a multilevel experimental approach to address the project’s research goals: in vivo studies on mice will be combined with molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.  Plectin-deficient human induced pluripotent stem cells will be generated to provide the experimental basis for the evaluation of cell protective effects of two orphan drugs, which have a promising therapeutic potential. Thereby, this PhD project also has the translational potential to improve the clinical counseling of patients and may help to pave the way towards new treatment options for plectinopathies.

Applying candidates should have a keen interest in animal models of cardiac diseases, a strong motivation in working with cell cultures, and a high degree of scientific curiosity. An excellent background in molecular biology, very good experimental skills and an MSc degree in molecular life sciences, biochemistry, or a related field are required as well. An animal work certification (FELASA or equivalents) is also necessary, but can be obtained in the initial phase of the project. Experience with cell culture techniques, immunofluorescence microscopy, and mouse work will be an added advantage. Good communication skills, independence, and a sense of responsibility are required.

Students will be enrolled in the PhD program of the Medical University of Vienna. Employment as a PhD student is planned to be a 3-year salaried position of 30 hours per week. Payment will be according to FWF gross salary for doctoral candidates, amounting currently to 2300,30 € per month. The starting date is as soon as possible.

Please send you full application including your CV and a list of publications, if any, to Dr. Lilli Winter (


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