Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Nakchbandi0118 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Nakchbandi, Inaam
Application deadline:
15. May 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. Jun 2018

Project description:

Characterization of the hematopoietic and premetastatic niche
In this project, the mesenchymal stromal cells that form the premetatstatic niche will be characterized. Furthermore, possibilities at manipulating their numbers and/or characteristics to diminish metastasis formation will be tested. Finally, we will determine whether the same cells consist part of the hematopoietic stem cell niche in the bone marrow. Expanding this work into other sites of metastatic disease is planned. The findings upon which this work is based were partially published in Cancer Research 2018. The work is currently funded by the DFG.

Our team consists of 5 PhD students and a group leader. We interact with members of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Heidelberg (where our lab is located), the department of cellular biophysics (Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research), and members of the department of Molecular Medicine at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry.

Our lab was established as a cooperation between the Max-Planck Society and the University of Heidelberg. The aim of this cooperative project is to provide a venue for the evaluation of clinically driven problems using cutting edge basic research. The main thrust of our lab is the study of the role of stromal cells, matrix and extracellular matrix receptors in various disease models.
1. S. Rossnagl, H. Ghura, C. Groth, E. Altrock, F. Jakob, S. Schott, P. Wimberger, T. Link, J.-D. Kuhlmann, A. Stenzl, J. Hennenlotter, T. Todenhöfer, M. Rojewski, K. Bieback, I.A. Nakchbandi. “A Subpopulation of Stromal Cells Controls Cancer Cell Homing to The Bone Marrow”. Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 1;78(1):129-142.

2. S. Rossnagl, E. Altrock, C. Sens, S. Kraft, K. Rau, M.D. Milsom, T. Giese, Y. Samstag, I.A. Nakchbandi. “EDA-Fibronectin Originating from Osteoblasts Inhibits the Immune Response against Cancer”. 2016; PLoS Biol 14(9):e1002562.
Methods that will be used:
In our lab you get exposure to a large number of various techniques that are applied as needed. Initially you will perform flow cytometry, sorting, single cell imaging (Imagestream). In parallel, cell culture and in vivo studies of homing of cancer cells and later hematopoietic stem cell transplants in various transgenic mouse models are planned. Other methods include protein biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, laser microdissection, quantitative real time PCR, array analysis, various staining methods in histology and imaging techniques such as bioluminescence imaging. Occasionally, specialized tests are used if required.
Cooperation partners:
Within the Max-Planck Society: Members of the MPI Biochemistry and MPI Medical Research. Within the University: Members of the Immunology, Gynecology and Pathology Departments. National: Tübingen, Dresden, and Würzburg. International: USA (Yale, Rochester, U Texas SA), France (Paris).
Personal qualifications:
Applicant should have a Master degree (biology, biochemistry, molecular medicine or related disciplines). You are motivated to advance your project, but also able to work within a team. You are willing to work with transgenic mouse models. A good background in standard molecular biological methods is expected. Experience in flow cytometry is beneficial but not a requirement.
We are looking forward to meeting you.
Tumor, stromal cells, matrix, integrins, premetastatic niche, dormant cells, hematopoiesis