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: 2096/2023/1

The research group “Juvenile Neurodegeneration”, led by Dr. Sabina Tahirovic, is looking for a PhD student with a strong interest in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Your tasks

This PhD project will be focusing on discovering molecular signals that are responsible for microglial dysfunction in childhood dementia disorder Niemann Pick type C (NPC) (see Colombo, Dinkel et al., Nat Commun 2021). The key objective is to investigate the role of glial translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) under physiological conditions and in NPC disease that represents a metabolic disorder with cholesterol accumulation and particularly high levels of microglial TSPO. The study will include experiments with human cells and murine in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models and apply cell, molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate identification of novel therapeutic approaches for NPC disease and increase understanding of TSPO biology and its relevance to human disease. For more details about our research, please visit our website (DZNE Tahirovic, Sabina > Research areas/focus). This project is embedded within the DFG-funded Research Unit 2858 “Role of translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) as a diagnostic and therapeutic target in the nervous system”.


Candidates with a master’s degree in neuroscience (e.g. biology, molecular biomedicine or related subjects) are encouraged to apply. We are looking for highly motivated applicant with good communication and team-working skills, fluent in English and eager to work in an international environment. This project requires excellent cell culture skills and thus prior experience in handling of primary microglia, neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells is highly desirable. Experience in neuroscience, cell metabolism and neuroimmunology and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases (perfusion fixation, tissue sectioning, immunohistochemistry) as well as basic knowledge in confocal microscopy are of advantage.

We offer

  • An interesting and challenging research question in a comprehensive scientific environment that works on the future topics of health research
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • A high potential for the individual development of our employees
  • Targeted personnel development
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes
  • A position initially available for 3 years

Interested candidates should send their applications including motivation letter, CV and references via the link below.

Apply now



Contact details

Dr. Sabina Tahirovic

Working hours


Contract length

3 years

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. You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification.