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Job Opening - Research Team Volker Lohmann

Open position for a PhD student

Hepatitis C virus (HCV, family Flaviviridae) and hepatitis A virus (HAV, family Picornaviridae) are both posi-tive strand RNA viruses with very similar mechanisms of RNA replication. However, HAV infections are al-ways cleared whereas HCV establishes persistence in ~80% of infected individuals. Clearance correlates with low levels of innate immune responses in the liver in case of HAV, whereas persistence in case of HCV is associated with a long-lasting induction of a variety of interferon-induced genes (ISGs), which mainly originate from infected cells. We have previously shown that HCV double stranded RNA (dsRNA) in vesicular replication organelles reaches the endosome, resulting either in secretion or sensing by TLR3 (https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(18)30309-3/abstract). Thereby the virus is capable to induce a balanced ISG expression, which might favor persistence. The aim of this project is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying endosomal uptake of viral dsRNA and a comprehensive understanding of the contribution of the TLR3 response to HCV persistence. The work involves basic molecular and cell biology methods, high end microscopy techniques (e.g. correlative light and electron microscopy) and RNAseq analyses.

This PhD position is part of a 4-year DFG funded project within TRR 179 (Persistence of hepatotropic viruses).



- MSc degree in Biomedical or Molecular Sciences, Biochemistry, Biology or related study (to be obtained before employment)
- Experience with molecular, biochemical and cell biological techniques, including microscopy
- Strong interest in microscopy,  ideally experience in virology, cell biology and innate immune response to viral infections


The position is open immediately.

Application deadline June 21st. 2020

Applications should be sent to Volker Lohmann:
email: volker_lohmann(at)med.uni-heidelberg.de


Heidelberg is a very active and lively center for research in the field of life sciences and medical research (https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/index_e.html). It is one of the leading centers in virus research as well as systems biology in Europe. The campus provides unique opportunities for basic research in life sciences and is well connected to external institutions such as the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research.