PhD position: Control of immunological synapse formation and responses in regulatory and conventional T cells

Code: 28/2018



The research group Cellular Proteomics of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig is offering a PhD position: Control of immunological synapse formation and responses in regulatory and conventional T cells.


The research unit Cellular Proteomics discovers and studies novel molecular mechanisms to understand how immune responses are activated and controlled in infections. We have a strong focus in molecular phenotyping of primary immune cells including regulatory T cells (Treg) and are particularly interested in regulatory processes at immunological synapses (IS). Our work not only encompasses accurate mass spectrometry and proteome techniques, e.g. for investigations of signalling pathways, but also flow cytometry, molecular biology (CRISPR/Cas9) and advanced microscopy for functional studies of identified candidates (for details see The planned PhD thesis project is part of a collaborative research centre (; project B16) funded by the German Research Foundation, in which we study the IS as the central organizing compartment of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling. We recently had discovered a unique TCR network assembly at the Treg-specific IS and identified candidate regulators of molecular transport by phosphoproteomics (van Ham et al., Eur. J. Immunol. 47:2043).

The aim of the project is to examine the role of these candidate regulators for the transport of signaling and in particular for newly identified effector microvesicles (MVs) that are transexocytosed at the IS. State-of-the-art-proteomics (SILAC, BONCAT) as well as high resolution microscopy (3D-EM) will allow you to determine the functional inventory of vesicles and you will interfere with their transport (mutants, drugs) to alter related immune functions and potentially Tregs’ suppressive capacity. In cooperation with the Department Experimental Immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the relevance of these mechanisms will be determined both in vitro and in vivo by response studies of antigen-presenting cells and established mouse models. The overall aim of this project is to understand and to target vesicle transport at the T cell IS in order to control immunity.


For this project, we seek a highly motivated doctoral researcher with a Master’s degree in Biology or related fields, with a strong focus on cellular and molecular immunology. She or he should be fascinated by T cell biology and cell signalling and be interested in mass spectrometry and proteome technologies. A background in imaging techniques, multi-colour flow cytometry or mouse models will be considered as an advantage. The ability to work in an interdisciplinary team is essential.


Headquarter Braunschweig

Research Group

The Handicapped

Qualified applicants with a disability will be given preference.

Starting date

1st July 2018 or earlier

Contract time limit

initial contract for 3 years

Probation period

6 months


TVöD E13 (65%)

Published on


Applications accepted until  31.05.2018

Applicants are required to complete the online application form here: (Please select Job No. 28/2018).

For more details regarding the position, please contact Prof. Dr. Lothar Jänsch via email:, or by phone: +49 531 6181-3030.

Did you now?

You are Welcome!

HZI International Graduate School

The HZI International Graduate School for Infection Research (GS-FIRE) provides an innovative structured PhD programme within the field of Infection Research.

PhD programme “Epidemiology”

The PhD programme “Epidemiology” is a three-year doctoral programme in the area of epidemiological research and is coordinated by the Department of Epidemiology of the HZI.

PrintSend per emailShare