Connecting European Neuroscience

PhD position in Heidelberg/Germany

08 July 2019

PhD position in Heidelberg/Germany

Job ID


Project Title and description:
Role of Neuron-Glia and glia-glia signaling in chronic pain

The central question of this project is to understand if and how glia cells are mediating the analgesic effect of antidepressants. Indeed, some forms of chronic pain, which are not responding to common therapies, can be treated with antidepressants.

In chronic pain conditions, microglia and astrocytes become reactive and exhibit dysregulated Ca2+ signaling, which in turn might lead to increased or decreased gliotransmitter release. Here, we aim to identify molecules released by astrocytes and microglia in basal and neuropathic state and characterize their effect in presence of antidepressant.

Using mice model of neuropathic pain, we will study glia structural and functional dynamics in brain as well as spinal cord, performing molecular biology experiment in vivo and on cultured cells, immunohistochemical analysis as well as chronic in vivo 2P imaging, studying morphological changes and Ca2+ signaling. We will use genetic, viral and pharmacologic tools to modulate glia signaling in vivo and test behavioral effects as reed outs.).

We seek a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD student with a Master degree in a biomedical, Life science (Biology, Biochemistry, Neurobiology, Neuscience, Medicine) or related disciplines. Background and hands-on laboratory experience in molecular cell biology and biochemistry will be strongly preferred. Applicants should have strong analytical and technical skills as well as a problem-solving, proactive attitude and good English language skills (no German language requirement). The ability to work in a team and independently plan and conduct experiments is essential.

This project is supported by the second funding period of the Heidelberg Pain Consortium SFB1158 (

Job Information

Closing date:
Employment start date:
Heidelberg University
Institute of Pharmacology

Contact Information

Dr. Manuela Simonetti
Institute of Pharmacology,
INF 366, Heidelberg University
69120 Heidelberg

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