Building and promoting Excellence in Life Sciences in Europe
Building and promoting Excellence in Life Sciences in Europe

PhD student in Cell Biology/Physiology


Job Code:
Department / Research Group:
Physiology and Pathology of Ion Transport
1 PhD student in Cell Biology/Physiology

Prof. Thomas Jentsch (situated at the MDC and FMP Berlin) is looking for a highly motivated PhD student with interest in physiology, cell biology, and neurobiology.

We are a very interdisciplinary and international team which investigates various aspects related to ion transport, ranging from structure/function analysis and biophysics to cell biology, physiological roles in many organs (e.g brain, kidney, and inner ear) and in human disease. We use a broad spectrum of techniques, including molecular biology, morphology, biochemistry, electrophysiology, ion imaging, and generation and analysis of genetically modified mice.

Our lab is well funded (including recent ERC Advanced Grants). It is very well equipped for biochemistry, molecular biology, morphology, and electrophysiology. We dispose of confocal microscopes and imaging setups in our group, with super-resolution light microscopy, electron microscopy and mass spectroscopy available at the FMP. The MDC provides similar possibilities and an animal facility and transgenic service. Our campus in Berlin-Buch is one of the best places world-wide for biomedical research.

In addition to CLC Cl- channels and transporters, we are now focusing mainly on various aspects of the volume-regulated anion channel VRAC. Although this important channel has been known from biophysical studies for decades, only recently our work revealed that it is composed of heteromers of LRRC8 proteins (Voss et al., Science 2014). This now allows us to answer many burning questions and make new discoveries. Particularly fascinating aspects of VRAC are its regulation by cell swelling, its ability to transport drugs and signaling molecules including neurotransmitters, its role in transepithelial transport, apoptosis, and tumor drug resistance (see our recent papers: Planells-Cases et al., EMBO J 2015; Ullrich et al, JBC 2016; Lutter et al., J Cell Sci 2017). In the meantime we have generated a large number of LRRC8 mouse models with many interesting phenotypes.


The successful candidate will investigate the mechanisms involved in VRAC regulation and trafficking using cell culture models, as well as examine some of its physiological roles as revealed by our sophisticated genetic mouse models. Analysis will include biochemical and morphological techniques, and physiological analysis of various affected organ systems. PhD students may join the Graduate School of the MDC.


The applicant should hold a master (or similar) degree in biology, biochemistry or related disciplines. A strong background in at least one of these areas would be of advantage:

- physiology,

- cell biology

- neurobiology

Further requirements are:

- an ability to organize your work independently

- a sound proficiency in English

- a team-oriented working attitude

TVÖD E13 50% (1st year; 65% from 2nd year on)
Start Date:
from 01.11.2017 the earliest

initially for 3 years

Application period:
Contact address:
Information contact:
Prof. Thomas Jentsch (Head of Department):
Further information:

The MDC is an equal opportunity employer and supports gender equality.

Please, send your application including all documents indicating the registration number preferably by e-mail to as pdf files (2 files of 5 MB at the maximum) as we do not return any papers.

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