Open Positions

We offer 1 fully funded PhD position with immediate effect located at the Institute of Cell Biology, Biocenter, Medical University of Innsbruck and supervised by Ass.-Prof. Georg-Friedrich Vogel (Cell Biology, Paediatrics I). The project is embedded within the PhD program Cellular Basis of Diseases (CBD) at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. This interdisciplinary PhD program addresses the molecular control of metabolism & inflammation and connect basic life science and computational biology with medicine.

To read more about the program and the requirements, please use the following link: https://phd-cbdiseases.i-med.ac.at/

Project: The role of ER-PM contact sites in epithelial polarity
In a CRISPR/Cas9 KO screen on apical trafficking in epithelial cells, our group has identified two candidate genes involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) – plasma membrane (PM) contact sites (EPCS) formation and function: anoctamin 8 (ANO8) and transmembrane protein 110 (TMEM110). EPCS have various physiological functions, such as intracellular as well as ER Ca2+ homeostasis and regulation of phosphatidylinositolphosphate (PIP) at the PM. ANO8 was shown to be recruited to EPCS in a PI(4,5)P2-dependent manner and replenishes Ca2+ storage by recruiting the Sarco/endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase. TMEM110 is known to activate and enhance another ER-PM-protein STIM1, hence is also termed STIMactivating enhancer (STIMATE). STIM1-TMEM110 interaction is crucial for Ca2+ influx at the plasma membrane upon exhaustion of Ca2+ storage and TMEM110 knockdown reduces STIM1 localization at the PM.
However, little to nothing is known about their role in formation or turnover of the apical domain in epithelial cells and polarized epithelial tissues. Interestingly, preliminary descriptive work suggests an exclusion of contact sites from the apical PM in hepatocytes. Work in fission yeast concludes that EPCS restrict sites of polarized exocytosis and that high Cdc42 activity in regions of exocytosis, typically the apical PM in higher eukaryotes, permit the formation of EPCS.

This project aims to understand the involvement of ANO8 and TMEM110 in the establishment of epithelial polarity and proper apical trafficking of cargo proteins. Therefore, epithelial cell models will be used, such as 3D MDCK cyst cultures. Main techniques for this project include CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing, 3D cyst cultures, apical trafficking assays, proteinprotein interaction studies, and immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Experience in epithelial cell culture, genome editing, immunofluorescence microscopy and protein biochemistry are beneficial.

Contact:
georg.vogel@i-med.ac.at

Job Category: PhD

If you are fascinated by molecular machines that protect the integrity of the cells and their organelles, join us as a PhD student or PostDoc and find out how the assembly of the ESCRT machinery protects cellular membranes.

Pls. send your application to david.teis@i-med.ac.at

Open PhD position in the FWF funded PhD program Cellular Basis of Diseases (CBD) at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. [Project 2: Kaser/Teis]

We offer 1 fully funded PhD position with immediate effect in the PhD program Cellular Basis of Diseases (CBD) at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. The interdisciplinary PhD program addresses the molecular control of metabolism & inflammation and connect basic life science and computational biology with medicine. The duration of a PhD in the CBD program is fixed at four years (eight semesters).


To read more about the program and the requirements, please use the following link:

The project will be located at the Medical University of Innsbruck and supervised by Prof. Susanne Kaser (Internal Medicine) and Prof. David Teis (Cell Biology).

Project: Effects of dietary intake on cellular steroid metabolism

The Question: Dietary habits significantly contribute to the development of obesity, insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and also determine the course of these diseases. Insulin together with several hormones affect hepatic lipid accumulation and inflammation in the liver by activating specific receptors in the liver. How nutrient uptake and hormones are linked in these diseases on the molecular and pathophysiological level is only partially understood.

The Goal is to characterize the role of specific hormones in the course of fatty liver disease and to investigate how nutrition modulates this disease on the molecular level.

Contact: susanne.kaser@i-med.ac.at and david.teis@i-med.ac.at

https://phd-cbdiseases.i-med.ac.at/

HOROS Host Response in Opportunistic Infections, a FWF-funded doctoral college has 4 fully funded PhD positions on the broader topics of Microbiology, Immunology, Cell biology and Mycology on offer:‍‍

1. Project: EpiGen-LipoComp

Under supervision of Prof. Florian Kronenberg and Prof. R. Würzner you will work on the topic of “Epidemiological and genetic evidence for an influence of apolipoprotein and complement protein concentrations and genetics on viral and bacterial infections”. Please see here the full project description.

 2. Project: Met-Iron-Inf

Under supervision of Prof. Günter WeissProf. Cornelia Lass-Flörl and Prof. Doris Wilflingseder you will work on the topic of “Metabolic iron changes during SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro“.
Please see here the full project description.

 3. Project: Mycoiron

Under supervision of Prof. Hubertus Haas you will work on the topic of “Metabolic remodeling of Aspergillus fumigatus during iron starvation”.
Please see here the full project description.

 4. Project: AMP

Under supervision of Prof. Florentine Marx-Ladurner you will work on the topic of “Antimicrobial proteins and peptides – Small proteins and peptides promise the development of new effective antimicrobial drugs”.
Please see here the full project description.

Why HOROS?

• Individual supervision and monitoring (students have their individual thesis steering committee)
• A highly structured HOROS-specific educational programme
• Great scientific network, also with international laboratories
• Retreats and social activities
• Guaranteed salary as suggested by the Austrian Science Fund for the proposed 3-years 
• Health insurance and social benefits
• State-of-the art facilities and resources

Join HOROS: Requirements

The entry requirement is a full study completing degree (Master, Magister, Diploma, MD) in medicinenatural sciences or related disciplines. Medical or Science students have to show academic excellence, scientific potential, flexibility, motivation and suitability for the research project.

Application

Please submit the following documents as ONE-PDF-File by email 
(document in PDF format using “lastname_firstname.pdf”) to horosdk@gmail.com 

• CV
• Filled application form
• Master/MD diploma (you can also apply when you havent received your degree, yet)
• Recommendation letter
• Abstract of diploma/master/MD thesis

We can only accept complete applications. Incomplete applications will not be considered!


PhD students are selected on the basis of their application materials and the selected candidates will be invited to a personal interview at Medical University Innsbruck (or for an online-interview).

Selection process

  • Verification that the application is complete and that the applicant fulfils all requirements
  • Evaluation by HOROS faculty members and ranking of candidates based on their qualifications, research experience, and future plans
  • Invitation of preselected candidates for a hearing and personal job interview in Innsbruck/ online interviews on 06th July 2021(depending on the pandemic situation in July; justifiable expenses for travel and accommodation will be reimbursed)
  • Final selection of stipendiates
  • Start of project: 01st September 2021

Open PhD position in the FWF funded PhD program Cellular Basis of Diseases (CBD) at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria [Project 4: Huber/Müller].

We offer 1 fully funded PhD position with immediate effect in the PhD program Cellular Basis of Diseases (CBD) at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. The interdisciplinary PhD program addresses the molecular control of metabolism & inflammation and connect basic life science and computational biology with medicine. The duration of a PhD in the CBD program is fixed at four years (eight semesters).


To read more about the program and the requirements, please use the following link:

https://phd-cbdiseases.i-med.ac.at/

The project will be located at the Institute of Cell Biology, Biocenter, Medical University of Innsbruck and supervised by Prof. Lukas Huber (Cell Biology) and Prof. Thomas Müller (Pediatrics).

Project: The role of Seizure threshold 2 (SZT2) in lysosomal signaling and disease

Seizure threshold 2 (SZT2) is a very large and relatively unknown gene that is expressed mainly in the developing and mature brain. The SZT2 protein is 3375 amino acids long and is highly conserved among higher eukaryotes. SZT2 was shown to localize to lysosomes and associate with KPTN, ITFG2, C12orf66 in a quaternary complex called KICSTOR. This complex was shown to negatively regulate mTORC1 signaling in the absence of amino acids. SZT2 depletion prevents formation of the KICSTOR complex and triggers the constitutive localization of mTORC1 to the lysosomal membrane with persistent activation of the pathway, even under nutrient shortage. SZT2 was first identified in 2009 as a gene involved in epileptogenesis, conferring low seizure threshold to KO mice and with a putative role in resistance to oxidative stress. Since then, there have been several cases reporting that mutations in SZT2 are associated with Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy 18, a recessively inherited disease characterized by lack of psychomotoric development, dysmorphic facial features and early onset of refractory seizures. Nonetheless, the mechanism that links SZT2 to epilepsy remains unclear.

CRISPR/Cas9 edited knock out cell lines, patient material and cell lines harboring relevant patient mutations have been generated and are available to study the role of SZT2 and its interaction partners in physiological lysosomal signaling as well as in the context of diseases, such as Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy.

Contact: Lukas.a.huber@i-med.ac.at and Thomas.mueller@i-med.ac.at