Job ID: 53882

PhD-student position: Purkinje cell development and Spinocerebellar ataxias

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 31 July 2021

Employment Start Date: 1 September 2021

Contract Length: 4 years

City: Basel

Country: Switzerland

Institution: University of Basel

Department: Departnment of Biomedicine


A PhD student position is available for studying the development of the Purkinje cell dendritic tree and its role for the development of Spinocerebellar ataxia.

Purkinje cell maturation and proper dendritic development are crucial for cerebellar function. Our previous data has shown that Purkinje cell dendritic development is strongly affected by the activity of protein kinase C gamma (PKCγ), dominantly expressed in Purkinje cells. At the same time, it is known that mutations in PKCγ gene cause Spinocerebellar ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by dysfunction and loss of cerebellar Purkinje cells.

We have created transgenic mouse models with a constitutive activation PKCγ in cerebellar Purkinje cells (Ji et al., 2014, doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.06.002, Shimobayashi and Kapfhammer 2021, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1946-20.2021). These mouse lines mimic the pathology found in spinocerebellar ataxia and show aberrant Purkinje cell dendritic development. Our goal is to understand how PKC activation leads to abnormal Purkinje cell dendritic arbors and to Purkinje cell dysfunction. By phosphoproteomics and RNAseq analysis we have identified several potential target molecules of PKCγ and in the PhD project the role of these molecules for Purkinje cell dendritic development and spinocerebellar ataxia shall be explored.

The project is supported by the SNSF and will involve cell and tissue culture, molecular biology, IHC image analysis including confocal microscopy, biochemistry and behavioral studies. Details about our research can be found on the website of the department

Our laboratory is based at the Department of Biomedicine, Anatomical Institute of the University of Basel. The University of Basel offers an attractive neuroscience environment with an organized postgraduate training in neurobiology.

A master’s degree (or equivalent) in biology, neurosciences or in a related field is required.

The salary will be according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Foundation (SNSF).

Please send your application by email to:

Dr. Josef Kapfhammer, Anatomical Institute, Dept. of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Pestalozzistr. 20, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Applications welcome immediately, project start can be fixed by agreement.