The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a world-leading internationally oriented research center, committed to discovering new approaches to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases. To this end, researchers at ten DZNE sites across Germany pursue a translational and interdisciplinary strategy comprising five interconnected areas: fundamental research, clinical research, health care research, population health science, and systems medicine.

PhD student (f/m/x)

Code: 2088/2022/6

A PhD fellowship is available from August 1st, 2022 for highly translational projects targeting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We seek enthusiastic and motivated candidates for our EU-funded team at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders (DZNE) in Munich.

Your tasks

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are fatal neurodegenerative diseases with overlapping genetics and pathology. The most common known cause is expansion of a (G4C2)n repeat in the first intron of the gene C9orf72. We discovered that the repeat region is translated in all reading frames into aggregating dipeptide-repeat (DPR) proteins despite its intronic localization and lack of an ATG start codon (Mori&Weng et al, Science 2013). We have promising in vitro and in vivo data for beneficial effects of active and passive vaccination targeting the most abundant DPR, poly-GA (Zhou et al, EMBO Mol Med 2017 and 2020). With are now setting up GMP production and GLP toxicology studies for an active vaccine through industry partners. To submit a clinical trial application, we need to show efficacy of optimized antigens/antibodies and elucidate the mode of action further, e.g. preventing spreading and seeding of aggregates. In parallel, we will keep exploring the generation and toxicity of DPR and TDP-43 proteins in cellular and animal models (Czuppa et al, Cell Reports 2022, Riemenschneider et al, EMBO Reports 2022). All our efforts are towards identifying and developing novel therapeutic approaches for genetic and sporadic ALS and FTD.


  • PhD candidates should be recent MSc graduate in biology, neuroscience, immunology or related field and relevant experimental experience (molecular or cell biology, transgenic mice).
  • Must have enthusiasm for using and developing new techniques, and the interpersonal skills to work within a diverse team of scientists.

We offer

  • Excellent supervision by a dedicated advisor.
  • Modern research facilities in an excellent environment with good funding.
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • Targeted personnel development
  • A position initially limited to 2 years
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes

Key publications: []

Czuppa M., … Edbauer D (2022). Drug screen in iPSC-Neurons identifies nucleoside analogs as inhibitors of (G4C2)n expression in C9orf72 ALS/FTD. Cell Rep 39, 110913. 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110913.

Mori K, … Edbauer D (2013). The Expanded GGGGCC Repeat in C9orf72 is Translated into Aggregating Dipeptide-Repeat Proteins in FTLD/ALS. Science 339:1335-8. 10.1126/science.1232927.

Riemenschneider H, … Edbauer D (2022). Gel-like inclusions of C-terminal fragments of TDP-43 sequester stalled proteasomes in neurons. EMBO Rep, e53890. 10.15252/embr.202153890.

Zhou Q, … Edbauer D (2017). Antibodies inhibit transmission and aggregation of C9orf72 poly-GA dipeptide repeat proteins. EMBO Mol Med 9, 687-702. 10.15252/emmm.201607054.

Zhou Q, … Edbauer D (2020). Active poly-GA vaccination prevents microglia activation and motor deficits in a C9orf72 mouse model. EMBO Mol Med 12, e10919. 10.15252/emmm.201910919


Applications should include curriculum vitae, relevant certificates, a cover letter stating research and career interests and  two references.

Apply now



Contact details

Prof. Dr. Dieter Edbauer

Working hours


Contract length

2 years, extension possible

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline


The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply. We would like to point out that as an employee (m/f/x) of the DZNE Munich you are subject to facility-related compulsory vaccination against the COVID-19 virus (according to § 20a of the Infection Protection Act).