PhD student position, Mitochondria Diseases and Aging , Dusseldorf, Germany

A PhD student position is available for highly motivated candidates through the co-partnership program between the PhD school in Cellular and Molecular Biology of the University of Rome, and the PhD school in Biology of the Heinrich Heine University of Duesseldorf. The international PhD title will be conferred.

The work will be carried out in the Mitochondria-associated Disorders and Aging group headed by Dr. Ventura at the IUF - Leibniz Institute for Environmental Medicine, Duesseldorf, Germany. The IUF is a newly established Leibniz Institute, which is currently undergoing renovations of infrastructures and recruitment of new personnel. Thanks to the close cooperation with other groups at IUF, at the Heinrich-Heine-University and Hospital, the IUF combine cross-disciplinary basic research with applied and translational research. The selected candidate will therefore join a young, international and dynamic research environment.

Our lab mostly employs the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, and utilizes several genetic, biochemical and behavioral complementary approaches to address a very exciting and fundamental question: how do environmental and genetic factors influence Mitochondria-associate Disorders and Aging? You can find more information about our lab and research at
The collaboration with different national and international groups offers interesting opportunities for training in other laboratories. Moreover, the partnership with the international PhD school at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” provides a unique experience to exchange knowledge and expertise with peers from different scientific and cultural backgrounds.

The successful applicant will utilize genetic, behavioral and state-of-the-art microscopy to create and characterize new C. elegans models for mitochondria-associated ataxia diseases, and to assess the role of mitochondria (dys)function in the progressive neuromuscular degeneration. High-content screening technology will be also applied to test the potential activity of pharmacological and environmental interventions in preventing or delaying neuromuscular degeneration in newly characterized disease models.

Furthermore, to join our team you:

  • must have a M.Sc. or an equivalent degree
  • have experience in genetics, microscopy, image analysis or informatics
  • have learnt basic techniques of molecular biology
  • are open to learn and establish new methods
  • have adequate communication skills in English
  • have the ability to work supervised in a team, as well as to independently troubleshooting and come up with new ideas to address relevant scientific questions

If you are interested please send your application to

  • Cover letter
  • CV (including major achievements, skills, name and contacts of at least two referees)
  • Copy of certificates
  • At least one letter of recommendation

For more information you can reach us at:

Natascia Ventura, MD, PhD,
Office: +49- (0)211-3389-203
Lab: +49- (0)211-3389-237