Job ID: 54852

PhD student project studying stress, behaviour and metabolism interaction

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 9 July 2021

Employment Start Date: 1 October 2021

Contract Length: 3 years

City: München

Country: Germany

Institution: Max Planck Institute of Psychiantry

Department: Neurobiology of Stress Resilience


At the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry clinicians and scientists are working in close cooperation on the causes of complex diseases of the brain and the search for new ways of their treatment. For this, besides a modern clinic with all facilities and equipment required for patient care and research, there are well equipped laboratories available. Here, neurobiological research methods, from behavioral studies to molecular genetics, can be applied. We aim to optimize the benefit of research for the patients by way of close and innovative networking of basic research oriented and clinical neuroscience.

The Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany is one of the leading research institutes worldwide focusing on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders with a truly translational approach, combining both clinical and basic research in the same Institute.

The Research Group “Stress Resilience” led by Dr. Mathias Schmidt ( is looking for a motivated
PhD student (m/f/d) in The stress-responsive psychiatric risk factor FKBP51 as a novel central regulator of metabolic and behavioral (dys)function

Task, techniques and methods

In the research group “Stress Resilience” we use various mouse stress models in combination with genetic manipulations to unravel the molecular, genetic and circuit-level underpinnings of individual stress resilience, with a focus on psychiatric and metabolic disorders. The successful applicant will study how hypothalamic FKBP51 may serve as a central regulator of stress-related metabolic and behavioral phenotypes. We hypothesize that specific neuronal populations in hypothalamic nuclei such as the VMH and ARC will contribute in a distinct and differential way to the stress-related and FKBP51-mediated metabolic as well as behavioral outcomes through induction of autophagy. Combining molecular, cellular, circuit, behavioral and physiological approaches, the main objective of this project is to advance the knowledge on the role of FKBP51 in mediating the metabolic and behavioral effects of stress exposures in hypothalamic nuclei, thereby unraveling the contribution of FKBP51 in the susceptibility or resilience to stress-related disorders.
Desired experiences and training
  • Master of Sciences in neurobiology, physiology or a related field
  • Experience in working with mouse models
  • Strong interest to understand the biological mechanisms underlying stress-related disorders
  • Experience in standard lab techniques
  • Strong interest in working with complex data sets. Previous experience in programming (R, python, Matlab) will be beneficial
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English
Our offer
  • The multi-disciplinary environment in the research group fosters close collaborations between basic scientists as well as clinicians
  • State-of-the-art facilities, including a new animal facility
  • Access to numerous scientific core units, including virus production, electrophysiology, mass spectrometry, animal neuroimaging and proteomics
  • Computational infrastructure supplied by the Max Planck Computing & Data Facility
  • Travel budget to visit national and international conferences or workshops
  • The Max Planck Society offers a variety of soft skill and career-oriented courses for post-docs open to the successful applicant
  • Flexible work hours and the opportunity for occasional home office
  • Full-time PhD student position for 3 years, fully funded for salary and consumables (Salary is calculated according to the collective agreement for public service employees (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst – TVöD-Bund))
  • Social benefits are paid in compliance with the regulations of the Max Planck Society
  • Very good connection to the Munich transport association (job ticket)

Please visit our homepage for further information:

We look forward to your Online-Application.

Online application link: