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 position (f/m/d) in Experimental/Molecular Neuroimmunology

Code: 1871/2020/11

The groups of Dr. Marc Beyer (DZNE Bonn site, where the PhD position will be located) and Dr. Jonas Neher (DZNE Tübingen site) have a joint interest in how peripheral inflammation affects the immune response of the brain. In this project funded through the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, the two groups will be jointly investigating how peripheral inflammation alters the microglial phenotype in the short and long-term, both in mouse models as well as human tissue. In particular, this project aims to define the molecular underpinnings of innate immune memory in microglia (as shown by their groups for the first time in Wendeln et al., Nature, 2018) and will take these analyses to the next level by combining state-of-the-art single cell RNA-sequencing as well as epigenetic profiling of microglial cells. We will also test how different peripheral immune stimuli affect the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, generating a comprehensive map of the molecular alterations that define innate immune memory in microglia and how they may alter neurodegenerative disease, while also examining the molecular effects on other major cell types of the brain.

For more general information, please also visit the websites of the Beyer and Neher groups:

Your tasks

In this project, the successful candidate will analyze tissue from animal models as well as human patients, using a range of methodological approaches, such as single nucleus RNA-sequencing, histology, biochemistry, bioinformatics etc. to determine what defines immune memory in microglia and how this affects neurodegeneration.


For this 3-year project, we are seeking a highly motivated PhD student, with a strong interest in neuroimmunology and very good German or English proficiency.
For the PhD position, the successful candidate should have prior experience either in:

  • Molecular biology and/or high throughput sequencing techniques
  • Bioinformatics

The successful candidate will of course be able to acquire additional methods during the course of this project.

We offer

  • A well-funded project at the leading edge of (neuro-)immunology, within the emerging field of innate immune memory
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure and state-of-the-art methodologies
  • An international environment characterized by a strong focus on science and research
  • A high potential for individual development of our employees (including targeted personnel development)
  • Employment, payment and social benefits are consistent with those at other research institutes

Please submit your application using the online system, consisting of your CV (incl. two references) and a brief cover letter (max. 1 page) stating your motivation for and prior experience relating to this project.

If you have further questions, please contact Interviews will take place by video conference, with a possible onsite visit to Bonn. The position is available immediately and applications will be considered until the position is filled (with a possible starting date being February 1st, 2021).




Contact details

Dr. Marc Beyer

Working hours


Contract length


Payment, social benefits

consistent with those at other research institutes

Application deadline

November 30th, 2020

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.