Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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KunerT0119 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Kuner, Thomas
Application deadline:
7. Nov 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Dec 2019

Project description:

Multiscale correlational imaging of structural brain changes during chronic pain
Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that chronic pain is accompanied by altered brain grey matter volume (GMV) in humans and rodent models. The physical and cellular underpinnings of these structural changes and their causal relationship to chronic pain remain elusive.
The aim of the thesis will be to define cellular correlates for the GMV changes in chronic pain in a correlative imaging study with mice.

Applicants are requested to send a CV and a short motivation letter to Any questions about the project or relating issues may be directed to the same address.

(1) Grey matter volume changes and corresponding cellular metrics identified in a longitudinal in vivo imaging approach. Livia Asan, Claudia Falfan-Melgoza, Wolfgang Weber-Fahr, Carlo Beretta, Thomas Kuner, Johannes Knabbe. bioRxiv 559765; doi:
Methods that will be used:
The candidate will profit from the rich methodological expertise in our lab and learn and perform
• Two-photon in vivo imaging
• Rodent models for neuropathic pain (Spared Nerve Injury) and other pain types
• Behavioral testing
• Small animal MRI (in cooperation with ZI Mannheim, AG Weber-Fahr)
• Participation in the development of a machine learning-based workflow for automatic analysis of the image data in cooperation with our informatics department
Cooperation partners:
The project is embedded in a large successful research consortium on campus for the study of chronic pain, which has been granted extension from the DFG this year (SFB 1158, see Funding for the PhD position (E13/65%) is granted by the SFB. Young scientists are especially promoted and encouraged through an extensive early career support program.
Personal qualifications:
We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral candidate (Dr. rer. nat. or Dr. sc. hum.) in an ongoing study on chronic pain. Experience in fluorescence microscopy, data analysis tools (programming, matlab, scripting) and animal experimentation (Felasa-B) is advantageous, but not a prerequisite to successfully compete for the position.