The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a unique non-university research center which is dedicated to the subject dementia and all its areas, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. The center compasses the full spectrum of fundamental research through population sciences to health care research. The DZNE stands for excellence in research and science management, translation of scientific results into practice, interdisciplinarity and internationalization. It is a research center within the Helmholtz Organization of German research centers. With over 1000 employees from 55 nations, spread over 10 sites, the DZNE is one of the national and international leading research centers in its research field. 

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d) in Epidemiology / Data Science: Immunology, Inflammation and Ageing

Code: 1581/2017/7

Population Health Sciences is one of the major scientific areas of the DZNE in Bonn, Germany.

We study determinants and biomarkers of normal and pathological mental and physical health function over the adult life course, with a special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. The research is led by Prof. Monique M.B. Breteler, Director of Population Health Sciences, and is primarily based on the Rhineland Study. This prospective population based cohort study will include up to 30,000 people aged 30 years and over, run for decades, and emphasizes brain-related outcomes. Study facilities encompass 2 fully operational examination centers equipped with state-of-the art apparatus including robotics for blood handling and analysis, advanced bio-banking facilities, dedicated 3T MRI scanners and large data storage and computational resources.

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher to support and coordinate the ongoing research on the relation between the immune system and brain health, and to develop this research area further.

The role of the immune system in age related diseases is one of our major interests. To this end we will incorporate deep immunophenotyping in the Rhineland Study. This will allow us to investigate which immune pathways are overactivated in common diseases, how immune cell hyperactivity is linked to disease susceptibility, and how environmental and genetic factors influence immune activation and disease manifestation. The immunophenotyping will consist of cell profiling in several flow cytometry panels and whole blood stimulation assays with a range of innate immune stimuli. The work will be done in collaboration with multiple partners in the Bonn-based cluster of excellence “Immunosensation” as well as in the international consortium AMBROSIAC within the European Joint Programming Initiative "A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life".

Your tasks

  • Supervision of data acquisition (immmunophenotyping, immune activation, cytokine & transcriptome analysis)
  • Supervision of graduate and PhD students
  • Analysis of data and preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Maintaining contact with our internal and external academic and industrial partners
  • Preparation of grant applications to strengthen this line of research



Successful candidates hold a PhD in epidemiology, immunology, data science, medicine or other relevant discipline. Demonstrable interest in quantitative research, strong analytical skills, ability for independent and critical thinking, leadership capabilities and excellent communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite. Working experience in epidemiological research or large-scale observational studies as well as experience in immunology is highly desirable.

We offer

  • Interesting and challenging work on the forefront of health research
  • Working in an international and interdisciplinary team to help direct the efforts of the Rhineland Study to address pressing health issues related to aging
  • A high potential for the development of own research profile




Contact details

Prof. Dr. Monique M. B. Breteler

Working hours


Contract length

2 years

Payment, social benefits

according to TVöD Bund

Application deadline

March 31st, 2019

You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification at DZNE. The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.