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Universität zu Köln | Institute of Zoology

PhD position (f/m/d) Musculoskeletal development and homeostasis (Zoology)

  • Online seit 15.10.2020
  • 201015-412886
  • Wissenschaftl. Stellen


Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
PhD student position (f/m/d)
Musculoskeletal development and homeostasis in mouse and zebrafish

The University of Cologne is one of the largest and most research-intensive universities in Germany, offering a wide range of subjects. With its six faculties and its interfaculty centres, it offers a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and internationally outstanding profile areas, supported by the administration with its services.

The research project will be carried out in the Hammerschmidt laboratory at the Biocenter of the University of Cologne and within the frame of the DFG-funded Forschungsgruppe “Novel molecular determinants for musculoskeletal extracellular matrix homeostasis – a systemic approach” (FOR2722), a coordinated biomedical research program with participating other laboratories from the University Hospitals of Cologne, Münster and Frankfurt (https://for2722.uni-koeln.de/).

The project will consist of two main parts: first, the analysis of mouse and zebrafish mutants lacking the large, but little understood extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins Hemicentin 1 and Hemicentin 2, with particular focus on their interaction with the ECM proteins Fibrillin 1 and Fibrillin 2. Human mutations in the latter lead to various congenital disorders, the so called fibrillinopathies including Marfan Syndrome with manifestations in the musculoskeletal and dermal system, while the relevance of Hemicentins in human disease remains to be elucidated.
Second, the characterization of a novel zebrafish mutant with scoliosis (curved spine), one of the clinical features of Marfan Syndrome. In the case of this thus far unpublished fish mutant, scoliosis is caused by loss of function mutations in a regulator of fat metabolism, pointing to a novel connection between fat metabolism, bone homeostasis and ECM proteins. This connection needs to be further elucidated, including systematic proteomics and metabolomics approaches and confirmation of obtained data and their biomedical relevance in corresponding conditional mouse mutants.


  • The successful candidate will be joining an ambitious research team with national and international partners embedded within a highly interactive and well-equipped environment (CMMC: Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne; CECAD: Cluster of Excellence in Cellular Stress Responses in Ageing-Associated Diseases).
  • Excellent research and training conditions and the opportunity to learn a broad range of methods will be offered while working on a topic highly relevant for translational biomedical research.



  • a diverse and fair working environment
  • support in reconciling work and family life
  • flexible working time models
  • extensive advanced training opportunities
  • occupational health management offers
  • local transport ticket at a discount for UoC employees

The position is to be filled immediately on a part-time basis (65%). It is limited for three years. If the applicant meets the relevant wage requirements and personal qualifications, the salary is based on remuneration group TV-L 13 of the pay scale for the German public sector.

The University of Cologne is committed to equal opportunities and diversity. Women are especially encouraged to apply and will be considered preferentially in accordance with the Equal Opportunities Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landesgleichstellungsgesetz – LGG NRW). We also expressly welcome applications from people with disabilities / special needs or of equal status.

Please send your convincing application with proof of the sought qualifications, statement of research interests, scanned copies of certificates and addresses of 2-3 potential referees by email (in one pdf-file) to Prof. Dr. Matthias Hammerschmidt (mhammers@uni-koeln.de) with the reference number Wiss2010-05. The application deadline is 15.11.2020.



  • The ideal candidate is a highly motivated, team-oriented student with strong interest in disease pathogenesis and preferably with a background in biochemistry, cell or molecular biology.
  • Experience with animal experimentation, microscopy or molecular biology techniques (e.g. cloning, overexpression, protein purification, site-directed mutagenesis) is advantageous.
  • Candidates should hold a diploma or master’s degree in Biology, Biochemistry or related areas.


Art der Beschäftigung
Zeitraum der Beschäftigung
It is limited for three years.
remuneration group TV-L 13 of the pay scale for the German public sector
Sonntag, 15. November 2020 - 23:59



Hochschule / Einrichtung
Universität zu Köln
Institut / Einrichtung
Institute of Zoology
50931 Köln, Deutschland
Herr Matthias Hammerschmidt



Herr Matthias Hammerschmidt


Job location

Universität zu Köln | Institute of Zoology

50931 Köln