Our mission as research center: Discover personalized medical solutions for environmentally triggered diseases to promote a healthier society in a rapidly changing world.

The Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity, and Vascular Research (Helmholtz-Institut für Metabolismus-, Adipositas- und Gefäßforschung, HI-MAG) at the University of Leipzig aims to uncover the molecular underpinnings of adipose tissue dysfunction. This effort is directed towards enabling precision therapies for obesity and its co-morbidities, such as metabolic and vascular disturbances, through the utilization of a clinical translational approach. The institute is part of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and maintains close connections with the metabolic research activities conducted by the Faculty of Medicine of Leipzig University.

The Jais lab’s research is focused on providing detailed insights into neurocircuitries activated by palatable, energy-dense food. We are using molecular and systems neuroscience approaches to define the anatomical distribution, molecular signature and neurocircuitry architecture of these neurons. Furthermore, we want to investigate the longitudinal effects governed by these neurons to determine their physiological relevance and their role in the deregulation of whole-body energy and metabolic homeostasis. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel noninvasive therapeutic interventions for obesity and other prevalent metabolic disorders.

We are offering from March 01, 2024 a

PhD Position in Systems Neuroscience (f/m/x) 102148

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Your mission

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate for a 3-year research project focused on investigating the regulation and functional characteristics of a specific population of neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. The successful candidate will undertake the following tasks:

  • Employ TRAP-based ribosome profiling to study CNS neurons' molecular characteristics
  • Use single nucleus RNA sequencing to explore cellular diversity and functional subpopulations
  • Identify neuropeptides, receptors, neurotransmitters, and channels expressed in neurons
  • Utilize fiber photometry to monitor neuron activity and peripheral signal integration
  • Aim to understand signaling mechanisms and impact on glucose homeostasis

Your qualifications

  • Exceptional students holding a Master’s degree in a relevant field and a strong interest in neuroscience, obesity research and molecular biology
  • Strong background in molecular and cellular biology
  • Experience in working with mouse models
  • Outstanding motivation to participate in a competitive research program
  • Excellent English language proficiency, both written and spoken

What we offer you

scientific training at HELENA Graduate School
work-life balance
flexible working hours & time off in lieu
30 days annual leave
on-site health management service
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Leipzig is one of the most diverse and liveliest cities in Germany, renowned for a high quality of life. The city provides a unique mix of history, culture, industry and creativity to its residents, while the regional lakes and forests offer exceptional recreational opportunities. The city of Leipzig has a diverse and integrated scientific landscape, which provides the impetus to drive research and creativity forwards.

This position also provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge and collect significant professional experience, both of which will help advance your scientific career.

Remuneration and social benefits are based on the collective wage agreement for public-sector employees at federal level (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance if the necessary conditions are fulfilled. The position is (initially) limited to three years, but under certain circumstances an extension can be arranged.

To promote diversity, we welcome applications from talented people regardless of gender, cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, sexual identity, physical abilities, religion and age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
If you have obtained a university degree abroad, we require further documents from you regarding the recognition of the degree. Please request the recognition as early as possible.

Please submit your application through the 'Online application' button located at the bottom of this page.
If you have further questions, simply contact Alexander Jais,, who will be happy to be of assistance.
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity and Vascular Research
Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 27 

04103 Leipzig

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