Research Explorer Ruhr: Hosts and Application (Natural and Life Sciences)
Here you find the profiles of the participating professors in the Natural and Life Sciences. You can conveniently apply directly at the end of each profile: please download and fill in the application form and send it to us via e-mail (use the blue button at the end of the PDF form). Please keep in mind to attach your CV and a publication list to the e-mail. The application deadline is 1 March 2020.
Important note: In case you would like to work with a researcher who has not uploaded a profile, please send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get in touch with the respective professor. Do NOT send any kind of application to a professor directly.
Biology, Bioinformatics, and Biotechnology:
Center of Medical Biotechnology
Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics
The group develops probabilistic models for biological systems, e.g. B or T cell receptor repertoires of human immune systems, or HBV quasispecies, or a behavioral animal experiment, to give only a few examples. We then use experimental data, often from high-throughput sequencing experiments, and Bayesian inference to fit these models. From the posteriors we then (hopefully) learn important features of the modelled system.
For instance, we may learn in this way that specificities of T cell repertoires infiltrating a tumor may have characteristic features, or that viral quasispecies in patients with certain HLA alleles may escape immune responses in a certain way. In general our challenges are threefold: first, we have to understand the system of interest sufficiently to develop a meaningful model; second, we have to map reality onto a probabilistic model, which implies familiarity with the corresponding mathematical methods; third, we have to implement the models for efficient numerical inference, e.g. in the probabilistic programming language Stan.
The perfect candidates should have a strong background in mathematics, computer science, bioinformatics, computational biology, statistics, or physics, including the ability to work with mathematical/probabilistic models and Bayes inference. Good programming skills are necessary. Programming practice in Stan, R, or Julia is advantageous, as is work experience with high-throughput sequencing data.
The perfect candidates should also be familiar with at least basic molecular biology, and they should have a strong interest to learn more about immunology and related areas of biomedicine.
Environmental Microbiology & Biotechn.
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
The group for Aquatic Microbial Ecology focuses on understanding subsurface environments at the ecosystem level. Of particular interests are the recycling of microbial metabolites like lipids and proteins but the group also focuses on microbial interactions between different microbial species and also between viruses and microbes. For doing so, the group employes state-of-the-art meta'omics methods, for which genome-resolved metagenomics is the basis. At the same time, the group works on integrating genomic information in vizualizing uncultivated microbes and viruses in ecosystems.
As model ecosystems, we use cold-water geysers that are driven by carbon dioxoide degassing from the mantel. These ecosystems are highly active, show relatively high cell numbers and their carbon isotopic compositions and low organic carbon help to follow nutrient fluxes in the ecosystem.
The group is looking for highly motivated postdocs in the field of microbial ecology with a strong background in bioinformatics.
While standard wet lab procedures (DNA and RNA extraction, simple microscopy) are sufficient, programming skills should exist as well. The ideal candidate is an advanced user on the command line interface (shell or bash programming) and has experience in python/ruby/perl scripting. Knowledge in R, maintenance of github site, and geology is a plus but not a necessity.
Interest in deep subsurface microbiology and aquifers is desirable. Ideally, the postdoc has experience in resolving genomes from the environment or has performed other genomic work in the past like comparative genomics.
Optical Control and Probing of Synaptic Signaling Proteins
We use novel, optical approaches to study membrane proteins, in particular to understand how protein complexes assemble and transmit signals across cell membranes.
Our main focus is on glutamate receptor signaling. Glutamate receptors (GluRs) play a key role in the central nervous system, where they pass excitatory signals across synapses and modulate synaptic strength and plasticity.
We combine biochemical methods, spectroscopic techniques, live cell imaging and electrophysiology to gain further insight into GluR function and physiology. As part of our toolset we use chemical photoswitches to manipulate GluRs with light – a method that allows for the precise control of specific receptor complexes with high spatial and temporal precision. At the same time, the engineering of photo-controllable ion channels and GPCRs provides a powerful tool for optogenetic and pharmacological studies.
We are looking forward to host a motivated and independently working scientist, who is interested in exploring projects in the areas of chemical biology, cellular signaling, optogenetics, or neurophysiology.
Required is an excellent university degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or a related discipline, as well as a very high motivation to engage in interdisciplinary research and the ability to work in a team. Experience in experimental research and very good English skills are mandatory.
Chemistry and Biochemistry:
We work on biomaterials and nanoparticles. Inorganic nanoparticles are synthesized and characterized with a variety of different methods (from colloid-chemical analysis over elemental analysis, spectroscopy, to electron microscopy). The nanoparticles are typically used for biomedical application, e.g. for drug and gene delivery and imaging. The research topics are highly interdisciplinary, with many collaborations in biology and medicine.
Basic knowledge in chemistry, synthesis and analysis. As we are running our own cell culture lab (cells and bacteria, biosafety level S1), applications by qualified biochemists/cell biologists are also welcome.
Organic Chemistry I
Our research is devoted to the development of straightforward transition metal-catalyzed reactions as alternatives to inconvenient and hazardous multistep transformations. We are particularly interested in defining new strategies for the minimization of waste produced within a synthetic sequence. We have ongoing projects centering on the utilization of unusual substrate classes for catalytic cross-couplings with a focus on renewables, and on the development of regio- and stereoselective catalytic C-H or C-C bond functionalizations.
Our methodical work is supported by mechanistic investigations and quantum mechanical calculations, and complemented by organic syntheses that allow verifying the practical applicability of the new processes in the preparation of complex molecules such as pharmaceuticals.
We are always interested in applications by highly motivated coworkers.
- love chemistry as much as we do
- want to do exciting but sometimes difficult research
- are a skillful organic chemist full of new ideas
- speak both German and English
- are not afraid of computers
- feel the desire to go beyond the well-paved paths of organic synthesis
you might be just the right person for us.
A fundamental feature of eukaryotic cells is their compartmentalization into distinct organelles by biological membranes. Each membrane is composed of thousands of interacting lipids and proteins that are essential to basic processes from photosynthesis to the maintenance of electrochemical gradients across membranes. Many membrane proteins, including pumps and transporters, form multimeric complexes that can vary and adapt to the functional state of the cell.
We are interested in revealing organization, functioning and dynamics of membrane transporters and their complexes with special focus on lipid flippases. To this end, we have developed a variety of biochemical, biophysical and microscopic techniques including the synthesis of specific lipid probes for characterizing membrane properties, protein-membrane interactions and lipid trafficking in fungi, parasites and mammalian cells. Detailed insight into the molecular functioning of membrane pumps will help to understand vital processes at cellular membranes and pave the way for applications within synthetic biology such as personal medicine, sustainable energy production, and molecular bioelectronics.
We would like to support candidates who have or will soon complete a doctoral degree in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics or related areas and are interested to work on lipid transporters. Competence in molecular techniques, protein biochemistry or cell biology are important. A strong expertise in protein purification and reconstitution would be a further asset. Additionally, we are seeking for candidates with a strong expertise in Leishmania parasite cell culture and biology or confocal microscopy techniques (FRET, FLIM). We expect very good English skills, team spirit and the ability of working independently.
Biochemical and Chemical Engineering (BCI)
We deal with biochemical (biotechnological) processes for the synthesis of valuable molecules with products ranging from chiral building blocks to complex molecules like natural products or drug metabolites.
We work on identifying new enzymes and putting them to work, either in single-step or sequential reactions. In addition we work on fermentative processes for new metabolites.
Are summary and publications can be found at http://www.bpt.bci.tu-dortmund.de/cms/de/Forschung/index.html.
People interested in collaboration or joining the lab as PostDoc should have an appetite for interdisciplinary working with a background in e.g. microbiology, biotechnology, natural product chemistry or biochemical engineering.
Work Group Prof. Dr. Stephan Schulz
Research Area 1: Thin film deposition by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD). We are concentrating on metal oxides (spinels) and different thermoelectric materials, mainly tetradymites (Bi2Te3, Sb2Te3, ...)
Research Area 2: Synthesis of metal organic complexes for ring opening polymerization (ROP) of cyclic esters, i.e. lactide, and co-polymerization. We are focusing on zinc, magnesium, and aluminum complexes, which are then used in polymerization reactions both in solution and under industrial relevant condition in the melt.
Research Area 3: Bond activation reactions usiong low-valent main group metal complexes. We have build a strong expertise in the use of monovalent group 13 complexes for small molecule activation (H2, CO, CO2, P4, ...) as well as for main group metal-heteroatom activation reactions.
The candidate should have a broad interest in organometallic chemistry and the use of taiolor-made complexes for the diofferent purposes. She/he should have a strong background in chemistry (Research areas 2 and 3) or in material sciences/physics/nanomaterials for research area 1 (material synthesis and characterization).
Algebra and Number Theory
This research group is involved with combinatorial, algebraic and geometric aspects of hyperplane arrangements. The theory of hyperplane arrangements has been a driving force in mathematics over many decades. It naturally lies at the crossroads of algebra, combinatorics, algebraic geometry and topology. Deep and remarkable connections have been discovered over the years between the geometry of the complement of an arrangement, the freeness of the module of derivations and the combinatorics of the intersection lattice of the arrangement consisting of the subspaces arising as intersections of hyperplanes from the arrangement.
Much of the motivation for the study of arrangements of hyperplanes comes from Coxeter arrangements. They consist of the reflecting hyperplanes associated with the reflections of the underlying Coxeter group.
In our research group we study various aspects of subarrangements and restrictions of arbitrary reflection arrangements.
The candidate should have a solid background either in the theory of Coxeter or reflection groups or in the theory of hyperplane arrangements (or both). Knowledge in computational algebra and experience in computing with SAGE and GAP would also be an advantage.
Translational Cancer Research
Recent advances in cancer biology, molecular biology and immunology should allow for a significant impact on the treatment and management of cancer. Still, our knowledge of many fundamental aspects of biology in health and disease is insufficiently translated into the clinical situation to reliably improve cancer prevention and treatment; moreover, substantial parts of this knowledge were acquired by use of model systems, which are not always reflecting the clinical situation. Translational cancer research bridges the gap between laboratory-based science and patient care in the clinic and vice versa.
To this end, research in skin cancer permits to scrutinize tumor biology and cancer immunology with more ease than this is possible in other cancer entities: In skin, most tumors are diagnosed at early stages, are characterized by a progression in stages (i.e. loco-regional metastases preceding distant metastases), and the metastases are frequently localized in the skin. Thus, sequential tumor manifestations can be analyzed over the course of disease progression as well as during therapeutic interventions. These characteristics are extremely favorable for translational research strategies.
We are looking for a highly motivated person interested in translational and multidisciplinary research in the field of dermatooncology. Preference will be given to applicants with previous experience in one or more of the following disciplines/areas of research: cancer biology, tumor immunology, systems biology, bioinformatics data analysis/statistics and/or imaging techniques.
The successful candidate should hold a master and PhD in life sciences, bio-medicine, biology or similar scientific fields and should possess a solid research background in molecular and cellular biology.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Founded in 2007 we have since become a leading place for experimental research in head and neck oncology as well as cell biology not only in Germany but world-wide. We have a special interest in the immunological tumor-host interaction with a particular focus on neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. A second research theme of the division aims at better understanding the immunoregulatory properties of so-called mesenchymal stromal cells. Over the last ten years we have established and worked on the following three main research themes:
Immunregulatory mechanisms in tumor-host interaction:
In spite of the potential recognition of malignant cells by the immune system and a resulting anti-tumor immune response, this reaction is mostly insufficient and subclinical. This is mainly caused by tumour-induced immune regulatory and immune suppressive mechanisms. In the last years, a variety of these mechanisms have been identified. Head and neck cancer (HNC) is also characterized by a particular immunosuppressive cancer-related inflammation. Thus, a better understanding of the reciprocal interaction of tumour tissue and host immunity forms the basis for identification of new therapeutic possibilities for intervention in HNC and other tumor entities.
Imunological and biological tumor therapy:
Even in the absence of classical tumor antigens, tumors harbor molecular structures, which can be used as targets for immunological or biological therapy. We are researching the effects of therapeutic antibodies directed against established (such as EGFR) or newly identified (collaboration R. Zeidler, Munich) target proteins on cancer cells. These antibodies may either directly inhibit the target protein or induce activation of immune cells. In addition we exploit the use of immunostimulatory toll-like receptor agonists to either stimulate immunity or induce cell death in tumor cells. Finally we are looking into differences of HPV+ versus HPV- HNC as well as the potential of HPV to serve as a target for immunological cancer therapy.
Immunobiology of mesenchymal stromal cells:
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are fibroblastoid progenitor cells with multi-lineage differentiation potential. Next to their tissue regenerative properties, MSC also display strong immunoregulatory potential. We are interested in understanding the immunobiology of MSCs from the bone-marrow and from different tissues of the head and neck region. In particular, we are investigating their interaction with innate and adaptive immune cells, their response to immunological stimulation as well as their role in the tumor microenvironment.
We are seeking a candidate with a PhD or/and a completed academic degree in the natural sciences or life sciences (Master or Diploma) and experience in the fields of cell biology, molecular biology or immunology. Solid scientific English skills are required. Pure basic research does not satisfy you. You are looking for a clinical environment and a disease-orientated research project. You are willing to work independently and apply your knowledge to a new area of research. Previous experience with cell culture, immunology and flow cytometry is beneficial. Interdisciplinary activity and collaboration will be required.
Department of Neuroanatomy
Retinoblastoma Research Group Prof. Dünker
We are interested in factors influencing the etiology and progression of retinoblastoma (RB), the most common primary intraocular tumor in childhood. Treatment of RB ranges from enucleation to eye salvage strategies including laser-, cryo-, brachy- and chemotherapy. Chemotherapeutic treatment of RB is, however, limited by developing drug resistances. Recent studies by our group suggest that trefoil factor family peptides might be potential new candidates for supplementary therapeutic options for RB along with common chemotherapy.
We are also investigating the mechanisms underlying chemoresistance. By transient and lentiviral overexpression and knockdown experiments followed by cell viability, cell death and colony formation assays we analyze the anti-oncogenic potential of identified candidate genes. In CAM assays we concomitantly pre-screen promising candidate genes for future RB treatment strategies for their capability to decrease tumor size and invasion capacity.
Most recently, we make use of nanoparticle-mediated substance delivery as well as nanoparticle-mediated gene knockdown and plan to also implement AAVs as an applicable RB treatment strategy.
We are looking for highly motivated young researchers with team player qualities. Candidates should have profound experience in cell culture as well as broad knowledge in standard molecular biology methods like cloning, transfections, Real-time PCR and luciferase assays. Ideally, applicants already performed cell death and cell proliferation assays and FACS cell cycle analyses and are willing to perform in ovo CAM assays. It would also be ideal if the candidates already had experience with nanoparticles, AVVs and or CRISPR/CAS (as an alternate gene knockdown strategy) and would be willing to establish one or more of these techniques in our lab.
Institute of Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry
Department Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Diseases
ABERRANT PROTEIN FOLDING AND NEURODEGENERATION
Various approaches coming from neuropathology, genetics, animal modeling and biophysics have established a crucial role of protein misfolding in the pathogenic process of different neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, polyglutamine expansion diseases and prion diseases. However, there is an ongoing debate about the nature of the harmful proteinaceous species and how toxic conformers selectively damage neuronal populations.
The main aim of our biochemical research is to identify cellular factors and signaling cascades implicated in neuronal integrity and in the pathophysiological alterations leading to neurodegeneration. Our integrative research has a strong focus on the biochemical and cell biological analysis of cellular pathways, which are also of broad neurobiological interest. Specifically, we are employing in vitro, yeast, neuronal cell culture and animal models to focus on three major topics:
- Cellular mechanisms underlying the formation and toxic activity of aberrant protein conformers
- Signaling pathways induced by neurotoxic conformers
- Therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases
We invite highly motivated candidates who would like to combine in vitro with cell culture assays and use super-resolution microscopy techniques (https://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/biochem/zellbio/imaging.html.en). Candidates should have a PhD in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmacy or related fields and a strong background in biophysics, biochemistry and/or cell biology. Experience with protein expression and cell culture models is advantageous.
Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
Ethics in Psychiatry
The research group “Ethics in Psychiatry” is a collaborative enterprise of the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Preventive Medicine at the LWL University Clinic of the Ruhr University Bochum.
The treatment of persons with mental disorders raises a variety of ethical issues. For more than 20 years, our research group has conducted research on questions of patient autonomy, informed consent and decision-making capacity.
Mental health professionals and policymakers often raise the following questions:
- What are the criteria for patient competence and how can competence be adequately assessed?
- How can the autonomy of psychiatric service users be strengthened?
- Under which conditions, if any, is it ethically justifiable to apply coercive measures?
- By which methods can the use of coercion in psychiatry be reduced and are these methods ethically justifiable?
- What are the specific ethical issues of end-of-life decision-making in patients with mental disorders?
We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers and we attempt to answer these questions by means of empirically informed ethical analysis. With backgrounds in psychiatry, psychology, philosophy and the empirical social sciences, we combine analytic skills with a thorough knowledge of the methods of quantitative and qualitative empirical research. Besides gaining knowledge, our aim is to provide mental health professionals with guidelines for ethical decision-making and to give practical recommendations for the improvement of psychiatric care.
We are looking for talented and dedicated scholars with strong intellectual abilities, an interest in interdisciplinary research, flexibility, team-working skills, and a very good command of the English language. Candidates should have successfully completed a doctoral degree in medicine, philosophy, social sciences, psychology, or another relevant discipline with experience in the field of medical ethics.
Department of Neuroscience
I want to understand how mental functions are generated by groups of neurons. To be more specific, I explore the neuronal basis of cerebral asymmetries and the functions of the prefrontal cortex in a comparative context, using human subjects, pigeons and occasionally dolphins, magpies and some further animals. In my very core I am a behavioral, cognitive scientist who uses cutting-edge neurobiological tools like single cell recording, neuroanatomical techniques, high magnetic field imaging etc.
My group is truly international and interdisciplinary with psychologists, biologists, biochemists and engineers from all over the world working side-by-side.
If you are enthusiastic about discovering the neuronal basis of cognition, just browse through our websites, explain why and how you could fit and ask for an invitation.
We are a very mixed team of varied methods in humans and animal cognition. Therefore we can invite who may fit in our team of neuroscientists, focussing on the evolution of cognition and memory, and who might cooperate with a member of my lab: http://www.bio.psy.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/members.html.
Physics and Astronomy:
Chair of Astronomy
The intrinsic evolution of galaxies is driven by the physical conditions of the interstellar medium (ISM) since this determines the rate and distribution of star formation. In this context the energy and momentum feedback of the star formation processes on the ISM is as important as the supply of pristine gas from the outside.
The research in the group is structured around several observing programs addressing this general scheme. The approach is to use multiwavelength observations from X-rays to the radio to study the various phases of the ISM in the circumgalactic medium. A current focus is on radioastronomical techniques allowing, e.g., the detection of HI gas with its potential for kinematical information or radiocontinuum studies that provide information of cosmic ray electron transport mechanisms.
The candidate has an interest in studying galaxy evolution through detailed observations of objects in the local universe and wants to put this into the context of structure formation. A good knowledge of radioastronomical techniques incl. the relevant software packages is a helpful prerequisite.
Institute for Experimental Physics V
Chair for Plasma and Atomic Physics
The research in the Institute for Experimental Physics V falls mainly into two categories: studying low temperature plasmas with potential for technical applications and development and application of novel diagnostic methods for the investigation of plasmas. Traditionally, the activities from the first category focus on low-pressure RF discharges (ICP, CCP, helicon) and on (near) atmospheric pressure ns pulsed discharges (APPJ, μTCD). The second category includes the development and application of various laser spectroscopic methods (fluoresence-dip-spectroscopy, LIF, TALIF, Thomson-Scattering, IRLAS, CARS, ps and ns EFISH) as well as diagnostic methods based on optical emission spectroscopy (OES, PROES, RFMOS). Further activities from this category include diagnostic techniques, that are based on the electric properties of the plasma particles (mass spectrometry, ion energy analysis, probe diagnostics).
Based on the nature of the research activities, the members of the institute have a solid background in at least one of the following research areas: laser spectroscopy (including non-linear optics), atomic and molecular physics and physics of plasmas and gas discharges. Additionally, good analytical and mathematical skills as well as knowledge in programming are common traits. An ideal candidate would be one the also fits into this profile.
Applied Solid State Physics
Current Research Interests:
- molecular beam epitaxy
- Nanostructuring through focused ion beam technology
- Semiconductor Nanostructures
- Low-dimensional structures
- Self-ordering quantum dots in semiconductor structures
- Electronic transport properties
- Quantum Hall Effect
- Single electron effects
- spin-dependent transport processes; optical properties; Micro- and nanomechanics
- Terahertz Spectroscopy and Terahertz Technologies
The person should have skills and knowledge in the following working fields:
- Measurement techniques for the macroscopic measurement of quantum dots, i. e. conductance spectroscopy, capacitance-voltage spectroscopy and photoluminescence spectroscopy
- Molecular beam epitaxy growth
- Wet-chemical cleaning techniques, electro-lithography