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PhD position in Molecular Biology – DNA demethylation, reprogramming & differentiation

In the field of ´DNA demethylation, reprogramming and differentiation´ the research group of Prof. Christof Niehrs offers the following PhD project:

The role of Gadd45 in reprogramming and embryonic stem cells


During development, DNA demethylation plays an important role in the context of two major concepts: cellular reprogramming and differentiation. First, DNA demethylation is required to reprogram the epigenetic signature to pave the way for pluripotency in the zygote and the primordial germ cells. Second, DNA demethylation of key differentiation factors is a prerequisite for efficient differentiation. There are indications that Gadd45 proteins may be involved in both processes.

We will comprehensively study the role of Gadd45 mediated DNA demethylation using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as model system combining genome-wide expression and methylation analysis. To this aim, we will reprogram mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to generate iPS cells lacking either Gadd45a, -b, or -g or combinations of these three related proteins. The efficiency of the reprogramming procedure will reveal a possible role of Gadd45 in cellular reprogramming. We will differentiate the knockout iPS cells in vitro into different lineages e.g. muscle, adipocytes or neurons. Global expression profiling by microarrays and/or RNA-sequencing in combination with global methylation profiling using MeDIP and Gadd45 ChIP-Seq will lead to the identification of direct Gadd45 target genes in this differentiation process. These newly identified target genes can be used for further molecular analysis of Gadd45 mediated DNA demethylation.

We offer
– The possibility to work on a cutting-edge project using state-of- the-art technology in a highly motivated research team
– A stimulating, diverse and international research environment
– Advanced training opportunities
– A competitive stipend

Please see phd-programme/applyipp/

The program starts in 1 November 2014 for a duration of 42 Months.
English is the working language of the program.
Required qualifications
– Master or Diploma
– Motivation to solve complex biological problems
– Excellent communication skills

Starting date: 1 November 2014 or later
Duration of stipend: 3 years, with the possibility of extension
Deadline for applications (exclusively online via web form): 5 July 2014


  • please see [link|]


Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
55099 Mainz

Fakultät / Institut
Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

Herr Dr. Elmar Uherek

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