Therapeutic targeting of developmental pathways in pulmonary fibrosis
Prof. Oliver Eickelberg, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU)
The Comprehensive Pneumology Center, a translational research center dedicated to pulmonary medicine, was founded by three strong partners: The Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität with its University Hospital and the Asklepios Hospital München-Gauting. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is an expert in bridging fundamental experimental research with applied medical research, while the Ludwigs-Maximilians-University is one of the Top-Level-Universities in the German Excellence Initiative. In the framework of the NIM Cluster, the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) is now seeking PhD students on "Therapeutic targeting of developmental pathways in pulmonary fibrosis".
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common and devastating form of diffuse parenchymal lung disease with unclear pathogenesis and limited therapeutic options. Its pathologic phenotype is characterized by alterations of the alveolar epithelium, increased extracellular matrix deposition, and enhanced myofibroblast activation. Our lab is interested in the role of developmental pathways, such as WNT/beta-catenin, which have recently been identifed to be aberrantly re-activated in IPF (1,2,3). Aim of the project is to further elucidate cell-specific signaling of developmental pathways and identify suitable therapeutics targeting WNT/beta-catenin signaling. Using nanoparticle-based approaches, these molecules shall be administered to the lung and analyzed for their therapeutic capacity. The project involves cell culture-based approaches, disease-relevant animals models, as well as analysis of human tissue specimen.
(1) Königshoff M, Eickelberg O. WNT signaling in lung disease: a failure or a regeneration signal? Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2010
(2) Königshoff M, et al. WNT1-inducible signaling protein-1 mediates pulmonary fibrosis in mice and is upregulated in humans with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. J Clin Invest 2009
(3) Kneidinger N, et al. Activation of the WNT/beta-catenin pathway attenuates experimental emphysema. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011
- Master or diploma thesis in molecular medicine, biology, biochemistry or related fields
- Advanced knowledge and hands-on experience of molecular and cellular biology techniques
- Commitment to a career in translational medical research
- Self-dependent, flexible, and highly motivated
- Working in an innovative, well-equipped, and scientifically stimulating surrounding
- Involvement in the international CPC Research School "Lung Biology and Disease"
- Close mentorship and training opportunities.
More information about the group:
Prof. Eickelberg's website