PhD candidate to study epigenetic inheritance of diabetes in an animal model (f/m/x)


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We are Helmholtz Munich. In a rapidly changing world, we discover breakthrough solutions for better health.

Our research is focused within the areas of metabolic health/diabetes, environmental health, molecular targets and therapies, cell programming and repair, bioengineering, and computational health. We particularly excel in the fields of basic research, bioengineering, artificial intelligence, and technological development.

Through this research, we build the foundations for medical innovation. Together with our partners, we seek to accelerate the transfer of our research, so that laboratory ideas can reach society and improve people’s quality of life at the fastest rate possible.

This is what drives us. Why not join us and make a difference?

More than 530 million adults worldwide were affected with diabetes in 2021 and this number continues to increase rapidly. Understanding the mechanisms of human disease, especially in diabetes mellitus, is the aim of the Institute ot Experimental Genetics. In this institute the group ot Gene Regulation and Epigenetics focuses on the epigenetic inheritance of metabolic diseases mostly using the mouse as model system. We aim to understand how metabolic phenotypes that are acquired during life are inherited from one generation to the next.

Changes in transcripts carried by oocytes and sperms as well as chemical modifications of DNA and chromosomes contribute to this inheritance. With our research we want to better understand how this mode of inter-generational epigenetic inheritance impacts on the pandemic of diabetes in men.

Prof. Matthias Tschöp (Dr. Med., Dr. hc.) CEO of Helmholtz Munich

We believe that excellent research requires a range of different perspectives. Diverse teams reach better solutions and are more innovative in their research topics.

Establishing our Diversity Management Strategy demonstrates our commitment to ensuring an appreciative company culture based on mutual respect. We are also implementing diversity-sensitive processes throughout our whole organization.

Your tasks

  • Establish an animal model and study the reversibility of epigenetic inheritance of diet-induced diabetes in mice.
  • Examine whether and how the parental reversion from a diet-induced diabetic phenotype - following nutritional changes or novel therapeutics - leads to the elimination of epigenetic effects on the progeny.
  • Underlying molecular mechanisms shall be examined and functionally studied.
  • Technically the project will comprise handling of mice (injections, taking blood samples, dissection post mortem and others), a significant range of metabolic phenotyping methods (body composition via NMR, glucose tolerance tests and others) as well as methods of molecular biology (such as transcriptome and DNA methylation studies).
  • Participate in the planning of experiments and employing best-practice animal experimentation (including project planning, proposal writing (German) and documentation ot animal welfare).

Your profile

  • Applicants must hold a master's degree in biology or a related faculty that qualifies the candidate to enroll as PhD student (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Technical University Munich, School of Life Sciences.
  • Knowledge and experience in the fields of genetics, epigenetics, methods of molecular biology and metabolic diseases.
  • You must have a strong interest in doing research with mice; all certificates required for animal experimentation in Germany must be obtained during the first months of the PhD.
  • Good communication skills in German (for animal welfare permissions and documentation) and English
  • We are seeking outstanding young researchers with a drive to pursue an academic career. In our interdisciplinary environment you will thrive best if you have excellent team player skills and if you appreciate independence and taking responsibilities.



Since 2005, we hold the TOTAL E-QUALITY award for exemplary action in the sense of an equal-opportunity organizational culture.

Helmholtz Munich is actively committed to diversity and inclusion in practice and is sustainably committed to equality.

The Diversity Charter has set itself the goal of promoting diversity in the world of work. By signing the charter, we commit ourselves to create an appreciative working environment for all employees.


This position provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge whilst developing key professional experience, both of which will help you to make strides in your scientific career.

Remuneration and social security benefits are based on the German Collective Wage Agreement for Public-Sector Employees at Federal Level (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of receiving an allowance if the applicable conditions are met. The position has an (initial) fixed term of three years but may be extended under certain circumstances.

We are committed to promoting a culture of diversity and welcome applications from talented people regardless of gender, cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, sexual identity, physical abilities, religion or age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference. If you have obtained a university degree abroad, we will require further documents from you regarding the comparability of your degree. Please request the Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications as early as possible.


Interested in applying?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Fr. Sibylle Neumann, +49 (0) 89 3187-3502, who will be happy to help.

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