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/d) – Mechanisms in tau neurotoxicity

Code: 10015/2019/4

Join the Junior Research Group “Protein Actions in Neurodegeneration” led by Dr. Susanne Wegmann starting from September 2019.

In our group we work on projects regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Our research tries to identify and understand “unusual functions” of tau proteins that can lead to neurotoxicity in neurodegeneration. We are looking for support in our neurobiology projects, which focus on normal and disease-associated neuronal functions of tau.

Your tasks

The candidate is expected to perform experimental bench work, oral presentation of the results, as well as the preparation of manuscripts for publication in international scientific journals; excellent knowledge of the English language and good communication skills are expected.

Our research is based on very interdisciplinary approaches, and experiences in different techniques is helpful. The PhD project will be focused on neuronal cell biology, for which experience with neuronal primary cultures and cell lines, and the related standard techniques (immunostaining, fluorescence microscopy, transfection and viral transduction, cell extraction, Immunoprecipitation (IP), Western Blot …) and fluorescence (confocal-)microscopy is appreciated. Basic knowledge in molecular biology (plasmid cloning, Maxi-Prep, PCR, RNA extraction), protein expression and/or dealing with rodent and human tissue would be helpful as well.

The work will include:

  • Working independently on scientific projects
  • Assist with other projects in the team
  • Neurobiology, cell culture, protein biochemistry, molecular biology
  • Light microscopy and other project-related techniques


We are looking for an open-minded, enthusiastic, and highly-talented junior researcher with good social skills. We are a teamwork-oriented research group and need support for our neurobiology projects. Successful candidates have a masters degree in neuroscience, cell biology or a related dicipline. Demonstrable interest in biological research, strong analytical skills, ability for independent and critical thinking, and excellent communication and writing skills in the English language are a prerequisite.

We offer

  • Working in an international, highly interactive environment.
  • Opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
  • The review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate is found. A full-time appointment of initially 3 years with the possibility of an extension.
  • The PhD candidate can be registered as such in an external University, or can be registered as a PhD student in the Charité Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, or the Humboldt University Berlin
  • Employment, payment, and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr. Susanne Wegmann, and support and mentoring will be available at every step along the way. Training in general scientific methods, more specialized methods employed by the research unit, and scientific writing will be provided. Active participation in local, national, and international conferences is expected. Successful candidates will be awarded a PhD or MD/PhD depending on prior qualifications.  

Applications should contain the following documents (in English):

  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • A cover letter with research interest
  • At least 3 references




Contact details

Dr. Susanne Wegmann

Working hours


Contract length

3 years, extension possible

Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline

May 1st, 2019

The DZNE is an equal opportunity employer. The DZNE is committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.