Ph.D student - Intravital and In vivo Liver Imaging

Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
Job Location
Ardeystr. 67
44139 Dortmund
TVL-E13 (65%) including requisite benefits

The position is salaried according to the German public wage law (TVL-E13 (65%) including requisite benefits). IfADo is
an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on gender, race, colour, religion, national origin, disability,
or age in its programs and activities.

Job Description

Project description:
Lipid droplet accumulation is the primary cellular phenotype that is interpreted as fat deposition at organ level in
steatosis. We focus on the core cellular signal that initiates lipid droplet formation - namely the activation of the small
GTPase Rab18. We will utilize ectopic expression of Rab18 and its functional and lipidation mutants in vivo to monitor
its effects on the progression of steatosis. This will result in a model that simulates the number, size and kinetics of lipid
droplet formation as a function of Rab18 activity and localization. At the same time, these factors will be correlated with
lipogenic stimuli. The model will be further enhanced by liver function tests to establish the link between steatosis and
organ failure. Finally, the methodologies will be implemented in an in vitro high-throughput format to assess drug
toxicity under steatotic conditions which will allow better predictability in clinical ‘acute-on-chronic’ scenarios.


The Ph.D candidate will perform intra-vital 2-photon fluorescence imaging of mouse livers and in vitro fluorescence
imaging of hepatocytes to study the Rab18 activation and its relevance to onset and progression of
steatosis/steatohepatitis. The candidate is expected to develop animal-handling skills, in vivo and in vitro transfection
and imaging expertise. Experience with basic molecular biology- PCR, cloning and fluorescence imaging techniques is
desirable. Due to the emphasis on in silico modeling and image processing, candidates with or willing to develop coding;
image processing and quantification skills in MATLAB/Python/C/Java/ImageJ will be preferred.

How to Apply

Send your application letter and CV as PDF files until January 15th
2016 by email with the subject “LiSyM-MSIM Application : <name of candidate> “ to:
Dr. Nachiket Vartak
Systems Toxicology
Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
Ardeystrasse 67
44139 Dortmund

About Our Organization


The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) investigates potentials and risks of modern work on the basis of behavioural and life sciences. The results of our research are used to design new regulations and guidelines for a beneficial and healthy working environment.

IfADo portrait

The IfADo combines life sciences and behavioural sciences to investigate the potentials and risks of modern work for human health and performance. Its aim is to design work, workplaces, and working environments that serve to promote safety, health, and work abilities.

The institute was founded in association with TU Dortmund University in 1969 and is operated by the Forschungsgesellschaft für Arbeitsphysiologie und Arbeitsschutz e.V., Dortmund. Its historic roots lie in the Kaiser-Wilhelm/Max-Planck-Institut für Arbeitsphysiologie (established in Berlin in 1913). In 1929, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute was moved to Dortmund in order to be closer to the industrial areas of the Ruhr Valley. Originally the IfADo comprised five departments which focused on different types of risk or strain at work (environmental physiology, occupational psychology, ergonomics, sensory physiology, and toxicology/occupational medicine).

Today the IfADo is a cross-disciplinary institute for integrated applied and basic research related to occupational health and human performance. Its research groups combine different academic subjects such as ergonomics, psychology, toxicology, and occupational medicine/biology. Among the problems addressed are the occupational origins and prevention of musculosceletal diseases, the optimal design of human-machine interfaces, the causes and prevention of burnout, the identification and elimination of chemical risks, as well as identification and compensation of age-related variations of working capacities. The research findings are not only communicated to the scientific community, but in addition they form the basis for contributions to regulatory bodies such as the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) of the EU or standardization bodies such as the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). They are also communicated to practitioners in the field of occupational health and ergonomics, as well as to the general public.

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