Doctoral Researcher in Nanoscale Infection Biology (f/m/d)

Kennziffer: 84/2020



Our newly established research group “Nanophysiology of influenza virus infection” at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) is looking for two doctoral researchers.


Research in our group aims to understand how viruses use and alter cellular structures for cell entry and assembly, how they exploit and control plasma membrane signaling and if these mechanisms can be used to inhibit virus infection. The HZI is a multidisciplinary research center devoted to understand and combat infectious diseases.

Background: Viruses are nanoscale entities. The cellular plasma membrane represents the first obstacle viruses need to overcome to initiate infection. As the major interface between a cell and its environment, the plasma membrane is a complex and dynamic organelle that needs to protect as a barrier but also process and transmit subtle signals into and out of the cell. However, the organization and dynamics of the plasma membrane in particular at the scale of an infecting virus particle (< 100 nm) remain largely unknown. Using super-resolution microscopy, we could recently show that virus-interacting molecules are organized in nanodomains within the plasma membrane. We further developed a model of how influenza A viruses use such an organization for cell binding and entry (Sieben et al., PLoS Path, 2020).

Projects: In our group we will focus on investigating

1.    How viruses engage with membrane receptors to trigger cellular signaling.

2.    Which molecules they bind and how they are organized within the virus-cell interface.

3.    Which and how signals are transmitted across the membrane into the cytosol. 

We will primarily study influenza A virus using a recombinant expression system in combination with primary and other model systems of the respiratory tract. Our methods include a combination of standard approaches from cell biology and molecular virology together with a focus on advanced quantitative microscopy.


The successful candidate should hold a MSc or equivalent degree in the fields of biology or biophysics. Experience in wet lab, molecular cell biology or microscopy is advantageous. Experience with virus work would be even better but most importantly, we are seeking motivated and enthusiastic candidates to join our team.

Equal opportunities are part of HZI’s personnel policy. Severely disabled applicants will be favored if they are equally qualified.

Starting dateNovember 1, 2020 or as early as possible - Initial contract for three years -

Salary: according to E13 TVöD (65%)

Probation period: 6 months

Closing date: 30.09.2020

Application: Applicants are required to complete the online application form here: (Please select Job No. 84/2020).

If you are curious, creative and excited about what we do please contact Christian ( for more information. Reach out to @Chr_Sieben or get more information at


Hauptsitz Braunschweig



Bewerbungsschluss ist der  30.09.2020

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