PhD Position Brain Cancer Research – Translational Neurooncology – Frankfurt 2024

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“Knowledge becomes health” – we are filling this motto with life every day, developing new ideas and improv-ing old-established knowledge. The University Hospital Frankfurt has existed since 1914. Our around 7,500 employees contribute with their skills and knowledge to the 33 specialist clinics, theoretical clinical institutes, and administrative departments. The close connection of health care with research and teaching, as well as a climate of collegiality, internationality, and cross-professional cooperation characterize the university hospital.

PhD Position Brain Cancer Research – Translational Neurooncology

(we are targeting applicants of all genders)
Part-time (65%)  | limited to 2 years | Announcement number: 04-2024

Join our dynamic research group dedicated to advancing the field of neurooncology, as a PhD student. The Translational Neurooncology Junior Group, funded by the Mildred Scheel Early Career Center (MSNZ) is under the supervision of Dr. Ann-Christin Hau and Dr Tanja Muller. Affiliated with the Dr. Senckenberg Institute of Neurooncology and the Neurological Institute (Edinger Institute) of the Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, our team is at the forefront of pre-clinical research. Our group contributes to the evolvement of patient-derived models of primary brain tumors, developing them for genetic (CRISPR-Cas) and pharmaceutical screens through live cell imaging. Our commitment lies in unravelling the molecular mechanisms of tumor evolution and tumor invasion, with the ultimate goal of advancing understanding and treatment of these complex diseases.

Research Topic: The offered PhD project focuses on addressing the challenges associated with glioblastoma, the most prevalent and aggressive primary brain tumor known for its high recurrence rates and dismal prognosis. This project aims to identify molecular targets for the invasive phenotype, a critical factor contributing to the difficulty in effectively treating glioblastoma due to the infiltration of tumorigenic cells into normal brain tissue. The key objective involves utilizing the Cerebral Organoid Glioma (GLICO) model, which incorporates patient-derived glioblastoma cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived cerebral organoids. This model provides a unique opportunity to study the impact of candidate genes on tumor cell invasion and offers a valuable tool for investigating tumor-brain interactions, aiming to develop a more comprehensive under-standing of glioblastoma invasion dynamics and treatment resistance observed in vivo.


We are looking for a passionate and dedicated PhD student who will:

  • Generate cerebral organoids from hiPsCs / hESCs
  • Improve cerebral organoid derivation protocols to ensure high-quality and standardized organoid formation
  • Establish the GLICO invasion model
  • Generate overexpression and knock-down / out glioblastoma cell lines for candidate gene(s) 
  • Assess the effects of target gene manipulation on glioblastoma cell invasion using the GLICO model


  • You obtained – or will obtain before start of the position – a Master’s degree in (molecular – or cell) biology, biochemistry, biomedicine or an equivalent discipline
  • You can demonstrate exceptional academic achievements throughout your Bachelor’s and
    Masters studies
  • You bring relevant knowledge and expertise in cell culture, particularly with hiPsCs and hESEs and / or gene regulatory and gene editing techniques and / or proficiency in advanced microscopy techniques such as confocal microscopy, and light sheet fluorescnce microscopy
  • You are fuent in academic English (speaking and writing) and have shown effective communication and presentation skills. Proficiency in German advantageous but not mandatory
  • You bring strong motivation to pursue a doctoral degree with an ambtious but yet rewarding project
  • You have proven ability to work independently and collaboratively in a research setting.
  • You bring problem-solving skills and a proactive approach to research challenges
  • Previous experience in neuroscience or cancer re-search, particularly with a focus on globlastoma, would be advantageous
  • Due to legal regulations, a valid proof of measles immunity / measles vaccination required


  • Collective agreement: In addition to an attractive salary based on a collective agreement (65% E13) with an annual special payment, you benefit from long-term security through company pension schemes.
  • Mobility: Free public transport in all Hessen (Free State Ticket Hessen)
  • Campus: Our attractive university hospital campus offers a modern cafeteria, various cafes, and opportunities to rest in numerous green spaces. A walk on the riverside of the Main offers relaxation during breaks
  • Work-Life-Balance: Part-time employment is possible, we offer childcare in our daycare center, childcare during holidays
  • Health Promotion: Benefit from our attractive health offers. We offer regular online and face-to-face courses on nutrition, relaxation, sports and exercise
  • Ideal conditions for you on a doctoral project at the leading edge of science, including: Excellent scientific and technical infrastructure with access to cutting-edge research facilities and resources / Continuous guidance from a team of experts / Integration into a collaborative and dynamic research community as well as the opportunity for collaboration with leading exports in the field / Support for presenting your research at conferences and publishing in reputable journals / A Vibrant interdisciplinary work environment on an attractive research campus in Frankfurt-Niederrad. Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses, a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities tailored for doctoral researchers via the Goethe Research Academy for Early Career Researchers (GRADE). This comprehensive package ensures an enriching and supportive environment for your successful completion of a doctoral project at our institution

Women are underrepresented in these positions at the University Hospital Frankfurt. Applications from women are therefore particularly welcome. Disabled applicants are preferred if they have the same personal and professional qualifications.


Use the time until February 12, 2024 to apply. Please submit your online application including a possible starting date and your salary expecations. For further information regarding the position and project, please contact Dr. Ann-Christin Hau (Tel.069 / 6301-85399), E-Mail: 



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