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Vacant Positions

Open Postdoc Position (Junior Group Leader opportunity)

In order to advance our vision and strengthen our efforts we hope to recruit additional excellent and enthusiastic researchers, including one postdoc who is keen and able to step us a junior group leader in the research area of

Innate immunity (Pattern recognition receptors)

Topic | Innate immunity plays a critical part in the host defense against infection but also in cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, metabolic and malignant diseases. Primary regulators of innate immunity are the so-called pattern recognition receptor (PRRs) which sense internal or external danger and trigger molecular and cellular responses that lead to immunological effector responses. Our lab has a strong track record in PRR signaling pathways and has been contributing insightful results in the areas of microbial recognition, initiation of inflammation and oncogenesis. At current, our activities are focused on the recognition of fungal chitin by TLRs, the regulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK), MyD88-dependent oncogenic signaling pathways and the role or neutrophil extracellular trap (NET)-associated RNA (naRNA) in psoriasis and neutrophil activation. Our vision is to elucidate the molecular workings and immunological consequences of these disease-relevant processes to a level that will allow for safely harnessing their considerable translational potential. We do so together with many academic, clinical and industrial partners in Tübingen, in Germany and abroad. The postdoc position is aimed to considerably strengthen these research areas, especially our focus on BTK-NLRP3 inflammasome function.

Suggested reading | Liu et al., J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017: Human NACHT, LRR, and PYD domain-containing protein (NLRP3) inflammasome activity is regulated by and potentially targetable through Bruton tyrosine kinase | Fuchs et al., EMBO Rep 2018: The fungal ligand chitin directly binds TLR2 and triggers inflammation dependent on oligomer size | Weber et al., Cancer Immunol Immother 2018: Oncogenic MYD88 mutations in lymphoma: novel insights and therapeutic possibilities | Herster et al., Biorxiv 2019: Neutrophil-extracellular trap-associated RNA (naRNA) and LL37 enable self-amplifying inflammation in psoriasis.

Methods/skills | Immunology techniques (PBMC preparation, cell culture of cell lines and primary human/ mouse immune cells, ELISA, flow cytometry), molecular biology (mutagenesis, PCR, sub-cloning), protein biochemistry (SDS-PAGE, immunoblot, immunoprecipitation, chromatography), fluorescence microscopy, in vivo experiments, data analysis (e.g. Prism), scientific writing and presentation. Experience in these areas will be highly desirable.

The team | In order to advance our vision and strengthen our efforts we hope to recruit additional excellent and enthusiastic researchers, including one postdoc. You would become part of a research group with a solid track record, and located in an excellent scientific environment, the Department of Immunology. In our well-funded and set-up laboratory you would find a dynamic, friendly, well-connected and internationally minded (English- and German-speaking) environment, and a firm commitment to good supervision and professional development.

The location | The Department of Immunology is located on the rapidly growing campus of the University of Tübingen (tuebingenresearchcampus.com). Tübingen is one of Germany’s Excellence Universities and Immunology is one of the key topics of the University's Excellence strategy. The Department is within walking distance to Tübingen University Hospital, a primary and cutting edge medical center with >400,000 patients/year, facilitating clinical translation and disease-relevant studies. In our well-funded and set-up laboratory you would find a dynamic, friendly, well-connected and internationally minded (English- and German-speaking) environment, and a firm commitment to good supervision and professional development.

Further information | Visit our website via the QR code. Position to start 06/2019 à apply NOW German TV-L E13 100% postdoc position fully funded for 3 years. Thereafter possibly extendable or upgradable to a junior group leader position (E14).

Your profile | PhD and >3 years research experience in molecular/cellular biology, microbiology/virology, protein biochemistry and/or immunology and several of the abovementioned techniques; high motivation to work independently and as part of a team; reliability, enthusiasm, critical eye, good documentation skills, very good command of the English language (written and spoken); willingness and ability to supervise/train students, write scientifically and to apply for a faculty-internal grant upon arrival.

Your application | Please apply electronically to alexander.weber (@) uni-tuebingen.de with all of the following:

+ Motivation letter (max. 1 A4)

+ CV

+ Degree transcripts and certificates (PhD, MSc and BSc)

+ Support letter from >1 previous supervisor,

+ English language certificate

+ Other certificates (e.g. FELASA)

+ Selected papers published by you as PDF

Both German and international applications encouraged. International applicants will be supported to attend German courses but German skills are not required to apply successfully. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and interviews scheduled accordingly.

Open PhD position:

Molecular Role of Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) in the NLRP3 Inflammasone

Topic | The NLRP3 inflammasome is a multi-protein complex driving inflammation upon exogenous and endogenous (sterile) insults during infection, tissue damage or cellular stress and its assembly has been considered a key process in initiating inflammation. We have identified the well-known signaling molecule Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) as an unexpected but prominent regulator of NLRP3 inflammasome activity in both mice and humans. The discovery of BTK as an NLRP3 regulator offers the unique opportunity to target the NLRP3 inflammasome at the level of a well-known pharmacological target, BTK, via efficacious and well-tolerated FDA-approved inhibitors, e.g. ibrutinib (PCI-32765). For doing so, the mechanistic molecular and the cellular role of BTK in inflammasome activation needs to be more comprehensively studied, which is the goal of this present project. Our vision is to elucidate the molecular workings of the BTK-NLRP3 inflammasome to a level that will allow for safely harnessing the considerable translational potential of BTK as a targetable NLRP3 regulator.

Suggested reading | Liu, …, Weber J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017: Human NACHT, LRR, and PYD domain-containing protein (NLRP3) inflammasome activity is regulated by and potentially targetable through Bruton tyrosine kinase | Weber et al., Frontiers Immunol 2017: Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase: An Emerging Key Player in Innate Immunity | Henrickson Science Immunol 2017: Teaching an old pathway new tricks: Targeting BTK to block NLRP3 (comment).

Methods and skills to learn | Standard immunology techniques (PBMC preparation, cell culture assays of cell lines and primary human and mouse immune cells, ELISA, flow cytometry), standard molecular biology (mutagenesis, PCR, restriction digests, sub-cloning), standard protein biochemistry (SDS-PAGE, immunoblot, immunoprecipitation, chromatography), reporter signaling assays, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation.

The team | In order to execute this project and complement our laboratory team we hope to recruit additional excellent and enthusiastic researchers, including one PhD student. You would be part of a dynamic research group with a solid track record, and located in an excellent scientific environment, the Department of Immunology located on the campus of the University of Tübingen, one of Germany’s Excellence Universities. In our well-funded laboratory you would find a friendly, well-connected and international (English-speaking) environment, and a firm commitment to good supervision and professional development.

Further information | Please visit our website following the QR code. Position to start spring 2019, Duration: 3 years, Remuneration: DFG-funded German TV-L E13 65% position. Application open NOW à apply ASAP!

Your profile | Masters degree (or equivalent) in biological sciences or medicine, some research experience in molecular/cellular biology, microbiology/virology, protein biochemistry and/or immunology; high motivation to work independently and as part of a team; good command of the English language (written and spoken); both German and international applications encouraged and international applicants will be supported to attend German courses but German skills are not required to apply successfully.

Your application | Please apply electronically to alexander.weber (@) uni-tuebingen.de with all of the following: Cover/motivation letter (max 1 A4), CV, transcripts and certificate of MSc and BSc degree, support letter from at least 1 previous supervisor. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and interviews scheduled accordingly.