PhD position (Ageing & Disease): Role of skin-resident lymphocytes for tissue homeostasis and peripheral tolerance in ageing skin (m/f/d)
Thinking of doing your PhD in the Life Sciences? The Science of Healthy Ageing Research Programme (SHARP) is offering talented, young scientists the chance to work on cutting edge research projects and join a community of exceptional, international scientists. SHARP is a newly established research initiative between the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Johannes Gutenberg-University (JGU) and JGU’s University Medical Centre (UMC) in Mainz. SHARP combines clinical and basic research to promote strategies towards healthy ageing, thereby further enforcing healthy ageing as a research focus in Mainz. As a SHARP PhD student you will be affiliated with both IMB’s International PhD Programme (IPP) and UMC’s Mainz Research School of Translational Biomedicine (TransMed) to ensure complementary training in both basic and translational research.
Activities and responsibilities:
In the fields of “Ageing & Disease”, the research group Prof. Stephan Grabbe and Dr Emil Karaulanov jointly offer the following PhD project:
ß2 integrins consist of a variable α (CD11a-d) and CD18 as the constitutive ß subunit. ß2 integrins are expressed specifically in leukocytes, and are essential for their activation/polarization and effector functions, cell-cell interaction and migration. In human, hereditary loss-of-function mutations of CD18 result in LAD (leukocyte adhesion deficiency). LAD1 patients suffer from severe, reoccurring infections as well as from autoimmune diseases. Our lab has previously shown that CD18-/- mice serve as a suitable model to study the role of ß2 integrins for the functions of leukocytes. CD18-/- mice lack T cells in skin due to the importance of ß2 integrins for their migration. CD18-/- mice develop a psoriasis-like phenotype in an age-dependent manner, which emphasizes the role of skin-resident T cells to maintain tissue homeostasis. Above, in light of the general importance of ß2 integrins for T cell functions, it is conceivable that dysregulation of ß2 integrin activity may contribute to T cell immunosenescence.
PhD project: Role of skin-resident lymphocytes for tissue homeostasis and peripheral tolerance in ageing skin
This project aims to delineate the overall requirement of skin-resident T cells for tissue homeostasis and of ß2 integrins for T cell immunosenescence by in-depth transcriptome analysis of keratinocytes/fibroblasts and (skin-resident) CD4+ T cells in young versus old wild type and CD18-/- mice. Similarly, Rag2-deficient mice (Rag2-/-) that lack T and B cells altogether, are also deficient of skin-resident T cells, thus serving as a second experimental system. Besides transcriptome analysis, derived cell populations will be analysed by multicolor flow cytometric analysis (up to 30 markers in parallel) to delineate the composition and activation state of leukocyte populations, with a focus on T cells. Flow cytometric analysis will also serve to validate differential expression of interesting candidate genes identified by transcriptome analysis. To pursue this project stat-of-the-art techniques and equipment will be employed.
If you are interested in this project, please select Stephan Grabbe as your group preference in the IPP application platform.
What we offer:
Are you an ambitious, young scientist looking to push the boundaries of research while interacting with colleagues from multiple disciplines and cultures? Then joining SHARP is your opportunity to give your scientific career a flying start!
We seek enthusiastic applicants with a special interest in pursuing ageing research projects from bench-to-bedside.
All you need is:
For more details on the projects offered and how to apply via our online form, please visit https://www.imb.de/phd
The deadline for registration is 26 November 2021. Interviews will take place online 17-19 January 2022.
Starting date: 1 March 2022 – 1 September 2022
Tagged as: Life Sciences
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