Job ID: 114581

PhD Student Position in Physiology and Neurosciences in Mainz (Germany)

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 30 September 2023

Employment Start Date: 14 August 2023

Contract Length: 2 + 2 years

City: Mainz

Country: Germany

Institution: University Medical Center Mainz

Department: Institute of Physiology


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student with a scientific interest in cellular and molecular neuroscience for one of the current projects in our lab with the aim to discover new activity-dependent molecular targets and mechanisms during early cortical development.

During early development, mammalian brains can be functionally characterized by the progressive emergence of distinct cortical activity patterns. The display of spontaneous and evoked activity is essential for the establishment of basic functions of the cerebral cortex (Luhmann et al. 2016, Warm et al., 2022). Activity instructs many developmental processes such as neuronal migration or survival (Blanquie et al., 2017; Schroer et al. 2023) but the molecular targets which are directly regulated by activity in immature neurons are largely unknown.

Aim of this project is the identification of new activity–regulated key players in developing cortical neurons by comparing the transcription profile of inactive versus active cortical neurons through a genetic labeling approach in vivo. Expression patterns of newly identified targets will then be assessed by protein expression analysis (Western, blot, immunohistochemistry) and activity-dependent regulations confirmed by pharmacological and optogenetic activity manipulation. The applicant will therefore employ a combination of cellular, electrophysiological and molecular techniques (multi-electrode recordings, live-cell imaging, AAV-based overexpression of transgenes, optogenetics) to investigate the activity-regulated targets in cortical neurons in vitro and in vivo (primary cells, organotypic slices, acute slices, cleared tissue).

The applicant should be able to work independently as well as in our international, friendly team. Experience in cell culture, imaging or molecular biology or electrophysiology is an advantage but not required. The project and the position (65% salary according to TV-L ) will be embedded into the framework of the local focus program translational neurosciences ( All participating institutions are equal opportunity employers and female and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.