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

The Institute of Virology focuses on research of viruses that cause life-threatening and often chronic diseases in humans. A major aim of our research activities is the establishment of relevant experimental model systems that advance the understanding of mechanisms of diseases caused by viruses and their treatment and prevention.

Numerous viruses exist that are able to invade the brain and persist in this organ, causing serious neurological damage. The blood-brain-barrier poses a major challenge to drug therapy of viral infections of the brain, since it restricts access of compounds to the brain. The development of novel therapeutic strategies against viral diseases of the brain requires systems enabling early evaluation of the passage of drug candidates to the brain and their efficacy.

The goal of this project is the development of cell culture models of the blood-brain-barrier for infection by neurotropic viruses like TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). In the next step these cell culture models will be applied to monitor the passage of antiviral drug candidates through the blood-brain-barrier.

This project will be performed in collaboration with the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (InstMikroBioBw), which is a scientific center of competence for biological medical defense. The InstMikroBioBw has long-standing expertise in translational research of infectious diseases of the brain. Research will be performed in state-of-the-art bio safety laboratories (up to and including BSL3).

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc keen to establish and validate this important cell culture model for antiviral drug testing. The project is initially scheduled to run until 31.12.2025.

Postdoc for development of viral infection models of the brain for antiviral drug development (f/m/x) 101910

Image Full time
Image Neuherberg near Munich
Image Postdocs, Professionals

Your responsibilities

  • Establishment of a cell culture model for the human blood-brain-barrier; validation of the model by microscopical analysis (confocal and Live-Cell microscopy (LCM)) and functional assays investigating barrier functions for exemplary molecule and cells.
  • Analysis of the passage of known neurotropic viruses through the Blood-Brain-Barrier model; Cloning of reporter virus genomes.
  • Analysis of antiviral activities of various antiviral structures and drug candidates in the Blood-Brain-Barrier model.
  • Experimental support for the validation of potential brain-penetrating antiviral drug candidates in animal models.

Your qualifications

  • Master's degree (M.Sc.) in biological sciences (biology, biochemistry, biomedicine or similar)
  • Completed doctorate in natural sciences
  • Strong laboratory and analytical skills
  • Advanced experience with complex cell culture systems
  • Experience in all current methods of molecular biology, including state-of-the art cloning techniques
  • Experience in experimental virology
  • Experience in handling infectious agents and genetically modified organisms
  • Excellent communication skills in German and English
  • Self-motivated; Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Strong sense of responsibility

Preferred qualifications

  • Prior experience in working within bio safety level 3 areas
  • Prior experience in experimental work with brain cells /organoids
  • Prior experience in the production of pathogenic viruses and infection analysis
  • Experience in cell imaging procedures (e.g. laser scanning microscopy; live cell microscopy)

What we offer you

work-life balance
flexible working hours & working-time models
continuous education and training
30 days annual leave
on-site health management service
Image home office options
Image on-site nursery & holiday care
Image elder care
Image company pension scheme
Image discounted public transport ticket

Munich, with its numerous lakes and its vicinity to the Alps, is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life worldwide. With its first-class universities and world-leading research institutions it offers an intellectually stimulating environment.

Provided that the prerequisites are fulfilled, a salary level up to E 13 is possible. Social benefits are based on the collective agreement for the federal public service (TVöD). The position is (initially) limited until 31.12.2025, 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.

If you have further questions, simply contact Prof. Dr. Ruth Brack-Werner,, or Regina Geiger, +4989 3187-3004, who will be happy to be of assistance.
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Institute of Virology
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1

85764 Oberschleißheim

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