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Post-Doc position as a bioinformatician (f/m/d)

The working group “Modern risk assessment and sphere biology” at the IUF - Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf is offering a Post-Doc position as a bioinformatician (f/m/d). The position is to be filled at IUF as soon as possible.

Clear evidence supports associations between endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) exposure and impaired neurodevelopment. However, the current hazard assessment of EDCs does not address developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) endpoints. The EU-funded ENDpoiNTs project will combine state-of-the-art in silico, in vitro, in vivo and human omics tools with advanced biostatistics on human epidemiological and biomonitoring data to develop novel testing and screening tools to address ED-induced DNT. Thereby, ENDpoiNTs will develop predictive in silico tools using machine learning and develop and validate in vitro tools for chemical screening and regulatory testing to improved hazard and risk assessment of EDCs. In order to manage such high content data from multiple assays with multiple endpoints, structured data resources are an inevitable necessity. In collaboration with the bioinformatics department of the Ruhr University, Bochum (Prof. Axel Mosig) a database will be generated to organize and process the analysis endpoints, essential metadata and the raw data values with a corresponding data model. The bioinformatics processing will also involve epigenomic, transcriptomic and metabolomics data generated within the ENDpoiNTs project, which will be analyzed and integrated across experimental models, exposures, and endpoints to identify: a) signatures that can be used as “fingerprints” for exposures with a specific endocrine mode of action; b) signatures that can predict certain key events (KE) and adverse outcomes (AO) with relevance for DNT; c) panels of epigenomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic markers which can be used to predict EDC-induced DNT both in vitro and in vivo. Different established and novel methods to integrate high-dimensional data obtained within a species as well as between species will be used.

The successful applicant (f/m/d) holds a PhD degree in informatics, bioinformatics or a closely related field and should have a strong background in bioinformatics. On the technical side, profound knowledge of database systems and experience in managing large data sets is a must as well as proficiency in programming languages such as R, Python or Java. Experience with handling of in vitro datasets and knowledge in toxicity testing is a plus. You are a goal-oriented team player with excellent organizational and communication skills, including written and oral English.

We offer a very friendly and inspiring working atmosphere in an international team consisting of toxicologists, cell biologists, bioinformaticians, biostatisticians and physicians. The successful candidate (f/m/d) will be invited to join the institute’s postdoc program, which, besides the scientific training, will impart multiple skills necessary for the development of an independent research career.

The position is limited until December 31, 2023. The weekly working time totals 39 hours and 50 minutes. Remuneration is given in accordance with the provisions of the collective agreement for the employees of the states (TV-L). Salary will be according to TV-L (E13).

Females are especially encouraged to apply, and in the case of equal qualification, handicapped persons will be given preference. The IUF is committed to family-friendly working conditions and equal gender policy.

Please submit your application by e-mail as one pdf-file combining relevant documents (letter of motivation, CV, university certificates, and contact of two referees) to:

Prof. Dr. Ellen Fritsche
IUF – Leibniz-Institut für umweltmedizinische Forschung gGmbH
Auf’m Hennekamp 50
40225 Düsseldorf

Application documents submitted by post are not returned. Documents for applicants not considered are destroyed appropriately once the procedure is complete.

Student (f/m/d) for Master Thesis

The team of "UV-induced skin carcinogenesis and skin aging" lead by Prof. Petra Boukamp is looking for a student (f/m/d) for Master Thesis  in the field of organotypic models and experimental sunlight.

Thesis topic:
Studies of single solar irradiation response in a human skin equivalent.

Our group is particularly interested in understanding the underlying biological mechanisms, which give rise to skin cancer. We use long-term skin equivalents (3D in-vitro models) that have been developed in our group to address questions related to the overall effects of sun exposure in models that represent not only normal adult skin, but also aged skin and different tumorigenic states.

Background to the topic:
Even though the influence of UV irradiation on our skin has been studied for many years, we still are lacking information regarding the biological effects of sun exposure as a whole. Until now most of research has been concentrating on the influence of UV. More recently we have also been able to add more knowledge by including infrared light and visual light (IRA, VIS). While this research was conducted either with single wavelength doses or sequential irradiation, sun doesn’t include a segmental or sequential form of irradiation, but a simultaneous exposure to UV, VIS and IRA. This is why our German consortia, KAUVIR (combination instead of addition: UV to IR radiation in skin cancer and skin aging), is studying the effects of sun exposure by using a state of the art lamp that allows simultaneous irradiations with spectra similar to the sun. These studies are essential in order to get a better understanding of the “damaging” effects of “sun light” and in consequence more relevant risk estimation and prevention.

The project:
In this master thesis you will be studying the immediate as well as the long-lasting effects of single UV and experimental sunlight exposure on a 3-D model of human skin based on normal human keratinocytes or HaCaT cells. Endpoints that will be addressed are proliferation, differentiation, tissue damage, and molecular deregulation.

Your background:
We are looking for a student (f/m/d) with a background in biology, toxicology or related field of study.

You will bring:
A practical Bachelor thesis. A great knowledge in English both spoken and written as you will be working in an international atmosphere. True interest in biological systems and bioengineering, which shows in the form of enthusiasm and high motivation. Furthermore our daily cell culture work and models require that you are meticulous in practical work and well organized both inside and outside the lab. It would be desirable if you have worked in a cell culture environment and have performed regular protein and molecular biology analysis (ELISA, PCR, western blot) before.

What we can offer you:
We are a friendly and collaborative team that offers you the chance to develop your skills in the fields of skin biology, skin cancer and bioengineering.

When can you start:
From Feb-March 2020, we are flexible.

Please address your application (a short cover letter and your CV), preferably electronically, to:
Prof. Petra Boukamp, and Dr. Elizabeth Pavez Loriè,

IUF – Leibniz-Institut für umweltmedizinische Forschung
Auf’m Hennekamp 50
40225 Düsseldorf

We will contact you to arrange a meeting after the application deadline 15th of November 2019.

Application documents submitted by post are not returned. Documents for applicants not considered are destroyed appropriately once the procedure is complete.

Master student (f/m/d)

The IUF-LIMES liaison group “innate immunity and extrinsic skin aging” offers a position for a Master student (f/m/d).

The position is suitable for a master student in the field of life sciences (biology, toxicology, molecular biomedicine, biochemistry, or similar) who aims to prepare a master’s thesis on immunology of the skin.

You will work on a DFG-funded project dealing with the impact of UV irradiation on the immune response in non-infectious inflammatory skin disorders. Specifically, we are interested in the functions of the transcription factor HIF-1a within the epidermis in a context of allergic skin disease.

Tasks include conventional PCR, primary cell isolation and culture, flow cytometry, histology, qPCR, Western blot, ELISA and related skills. Experience in any of these methods and their analysis will be a benefit. You are curious for doing basic research and are able to work as a responsible team member.

We offer a friendly and supportive working environment in close collaboration with other research groups within the interdisciplinary infrastructure of the IUF.

Please address your application (as one single pdf file) and any questions you may have, preferably via E-mail, to

Dr. rer. nat. Sonja Faßbender
IUF – Leibniz-Institut für umweltmedizinische Forschung
Auf’m Hennekamp 50
40225 Düsseldorf

Application documents submitted by post are not returned. Documents for applicants not considered are destroyed appropriately once the procedure is complete.

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