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)

Code: 8020/2019/8

Why a given neuropathology does not impact all neurons of the same type to a similar level? This is a fascinating question in neurodegeneration research that remains unanswered and represents the main focus of my lab. In most neurodegenerative diseases certain neuronal subgroups degenerate fast while others, carrying the same mutations – if any –, subjected to theoretically analogous stress and displaying comparable functional properties remain unaffected, even at the latest stages of the disease. Motor neuron diseases are a group of disorders in which motor neurons (MNs) of the spinal cord and/or the motor cortex are the primary cell type affected where this perplexing feature can also be observed. This key aspect of motor neuron diseases had been difficult to address using available mouse models. The Rodriguez-Muela lab will use a variety of approaches ranging from cellular biology techniques and live imaging to genome editing and single cell genomics, and utilizing hiPSC together with transgenic animal models, to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying such selective MN death. We devote a special focus at exploring the molecular basis of proteostasis failure – major causative event in neurodegeneration –, and at examining the contribution of cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous factors to the selective MN loss. Our ultimate goal is to understand the molecular origin of this distinctive neuronal vulnerability to design effective therapeutics targeting specific neuronal subtypes or phases of the disease.

Your tasks

  • The project will focus on generating isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients to model disease in vitro
  • Using genome editing approaches, transcription factors specific to distinct neuronal subtypes will be tagged with fluorescent reporters
  •  Additionally, fusion proteins will be generated for selected molecular players considered key for the selective neuronal vulnerability characteristic of these motor neuron diseases


  • An interesting and challenging task in a research center 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
  • A full-time position, initially temporary limited to 2 years
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are determined by the Public Sector Collective Agreement (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst – TVöD Bund)
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes

Required documents for application: CV, three of the usual references, Research statement –prior experience, project plans, future goals, and possible contributions to the lab




Contact details

Frau Dr. Rodriguez Muela

Working hours


Contract length

3 years

Payment, social benefits

according to TVöD Bund

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 during your activities at DZNE.