Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Bading_BasOrth0118 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Bading, Hilmar
Application deadline:
31. Jan 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Mar 2019

Project description:

Mitochondrial dynamics in multiple sclerosis disease progression
This research project is a collaborative project between the labs of Dr. Carlos Bas Orth (Dept. Of Anatomy and Cell Biology) and Prof. Hilmar Bading (Dept. Of Neurobiology) and is embedded into the DFG-funded research group FOR2289 „Calcium and Neuroinflammation“ (
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that is characterized by neuroinflammation and progressive neurodegeneration. Recent evidence suggests that glutamate toxicity contributes significantly to neuronal cell death in MS, potentially via a detrimental effect on mitochondrial structure and function. The current project focuses on the interplay between cellular and mitochondrial calcium signaling and mitochondrial dynamics in MS disease progression. In particular, it aims at understanding how dysregulated calcium signaling affects the balance between mitochondrial fission and fusion, and how this in turn affects mitochondrial function and neuronal survival in models of glutamate toxicity and MS. The project further aims at developing pharmacological and molecular interventions that are able to restore physiological mitochondrial dynamics in disease models with the long-term goal of developing novel neuroprotective strategies for MS.
Hohlfeld R and Kerschensteiner M (2016) Antiglutamatergic therapy for multiple sclerosis? Lancet Neurol 15:1003-4

Itoh K, Nakamura K, Iijima M, Sesaki H (2013) Mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegeneration. Trends Cell Biol 23:64-71
Methods that will be used:
The project is based on the mouse and rat model of optic neuritis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and involves a broad spectrum of methods that include molecular biology, gene expression analysis, viral gene transfer, fluorescence live imaging in cultured neurons and retina explants, advanced image analysis (see Valm et al., Nature 546:162-167), and in vivo recordings of visually evoked potentials.
Cooperation partners:
Collaboration Partners:
Richard Fairless, Dept. of Neurology, Heidelberg University
Amit Agarwal, Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Heidelberg University
Andrew Cohen, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA
Personal qualifications:
• Excellent University degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine, or a related discipline
• Study focus in the field of Neurobiology
• Excellent language skills in written and spoken English
• A very high motivation to engage in independent scientific research
• Experience in confocal live microscopy is advantageous
• Experience with animal handling (FELASA B certificate or equivalent) is advantageous
calcium signaling, mitochondria, neuroprotection, multiple sclerosis, live imaging