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. 

PhD student (f/m) – Neurogenic functional plasticity in aging and neurodegeneration

Code: 8013/2018/9

The laboratory of plasticity models for aging and neurodegeneration (PMAN) offers a PhD position for an outstanding candidate to study the activity-dependent plasticity changes (from genes to spikes) in large-scale neurogenic networks. The major objective of our lab is to examine groundbreaking questions on the functional and molecular role of newly-generated neurons in the adult brain. Using a variety of modern techniques (molecular and cellular biology, electrophysiology, genetics, opto-/chemogenetics, modeling, and neurocomputation); the aim is to discover the interaction across multiple forms of plasticity (functional and molecular) in new-born neurons and to characterize how this plasticity shapes information processing in neuronal circuits and networks. This is not only relevant in a healthy context but, in particular, at early stages of neurodegeneration, when networks still can respond and capable to reserve formation and recompense functions.

We are building a truly interdisciplinary research unit where experimental neuroscience, theory, and engineering expertise team up to foster advances in neuroscience and neurotechnologies. Join us and be one of the first ones to better understand the brain function using cutting-edge neurotech to improve the use of newly-generated neurons in the brain to stall aging and neurodegeneration. For more information on our research, check PMAN lab page (

Your tasks

This PhD position is aimed to conduct and analyze multimodal multiscale experiments (molecular, cellular, and network) to understand the mechanisms of the functional plasticity and a coordinated set of genes identified upon the integration of newly-generated neurons into the existing neural network. These experiments will use a combination of modern approaches including in vitro and ex vivo molecular biology, genetics and electrophysiology in human-derived neurons and transgenic mice. The successful candidate will take part in all aspects of the project, from experimental design, data generation, analyses, interpretation and writing of the manuscript.


The PMAN lab is looking for an enthusiastic, talented, creative, team-player, fluent in English with a strong commitment to research. The candidate should preferably have a master degree in neurobiology, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering or in relevant scientific/technical discipline with a strong interest in disease-oriented research, and a special focus on plasticity.

The successful candidate will perform research using advanced tools of cell culture / molecular biology (rt-PCR, western blot, transcriptomics, and generation of mutant cell lines by viral transfections) / Immunostaining and advance microscopy (confocal and calcium imaging) / Electrophysiology (high-resolution multielectrode arrays and patch clamp recordings) / opto-/chemogenetics. Therefore, a robust coursework in cellular and molecular biology is necessary. Previous experience with human induced pluripotent stem cells, electrophysiology, and affinity for programming (Matlab and Python) is an advantage, but not necessarily required.

We offer

  • Advanced interdisciplinary vocational training
  • Opportunity to learn cutting-edge neuroscience and neurotechniques in a competitive and instructive environment
  • Excellent infrastructure including modern workspaces
  • Dynamic and multicultural environment
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes.




Contact details

Dr Hayder Amin

Working hours


Contract length

2 years

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

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.