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Advertising division: IBI-2 - Mechanobiology
Reference number: 2019M-113, Biology, biotechnology or biophysics

Master Thesis: Mechanobiological investigation of pro-invasive adaption of bladder cancer cells upon mechanical strain

Our profile:
We focus on mechanobiology to study the vital feedback loop between cells and mechanical cues from their environment and how these stimuli in turn shape cell mechanics. We apply defined mechanical stimuli to cells and tissues in order to quantify cell responses. Advanced live cell microscopy and immunofluorescence imaging of cells and tissues cultured in mechanically defined environments are used to quantify cell responses, now with a special focus on tumor development. Biologists, physicists and chemists work hand in hand to accomplish the challenging scientific tasks in the fascinating field of mechanobiology. We put great value in teamwork and excellent supervision.

Your tasks:
You will be part of a joined project of the ICS-7 (Jülich) and the Oncological Pathology group (Aachen) aiming at decpihering the role of mechanical stress on bladder cancer development. You will employ our in house designed mechanical stress device to study cellular response of bladder cancer cells to active strain. You will use physiological strain profiles that recapiltualte normal urine bladder filling to compare the cellular adapation of normal, benign and tumor cells according to cell differentiation and invasion. Cytoskeletal changes (nucleus shape, cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions) will be analyzed to measure instant cell response to mechnaical stress. In a next step molecular alterations, i.e. involved expression networks, signaling pathways and a putative epigenetic regulation upon cyclic stretch will be studied as long term response that affects the phenotype of cancer cells. Finally, putative candidate genes and/or pathways could be assessed in tissue cohorts of bladder cancer patients.

Your profile:
You have completed your studies in biology, biotechnology or biophysics very successfully with a B-Sc. degree. You should have experience in standard techniques as light microscopy, and animal cell culture. Now, you search for a highly relevant transdisciplinary master thesis project with biomedical relevance and you are highly motivated to work in a vivid scientific environment. You distinguish yourself by endurance, self-reliance and by an excellent capacity for teamwork. You are fluent in written and spoken English.

Employment: from November 2019.
(Equal career prospects for women and men. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification will be given preferential consideration.)

Dr. rer. nat. Erik Noetzel-Reiss
Institute of Complex Systems 7: Biomechanics
Forschungszentrum Jülich

Dr. rer. nat Michael Rose
Hospital of the RWTH Aachen University

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