DFG-funded CCRC Graduate Program (GRK 2407)

Research Training Group

Inflammatory and cellular stress signaling: Switches to vascular dysfunction

Cologne Cardiovascular Research Center; University of Cologne

Spokesperson of RTG: Stephan Baldus, MD
Deputy Spokesperson and scientific coordinator of RTG: Stephan Rosenkranz, MD

APPLY NOW: DFG-funded CCRC Graduate Program (GRK 2407)

The University of Cologne invites applications to its DFG-funded CCRC Graduate Program „Inflammatory & Cellular Stress Signaling: Switches to Vascular Dysfunction“ and offers

9 PhD and MD/PhD Fellowships

We seek highly motivated young scientists with extraordinary academic capabilities and a Master´s degree in Medicine or Natural Sciences. Applicants should have extensive laboratory experience and special interest in the topic. We offer PhD fellowships (60% TVL-E13) for 36 months, starting from November 1st, 2018.

The University of Cologne strives to increase the share of women in the University and hence also strongly encourages women to apply. Applicants with disabilities who are equally qualified will be favored.

Applications must be submitted via e-mail to ccrc.phd@uni-koeln.de until July 24, 2018.

Details about the program and checklist „how to apply“

About the program:

  • Main Scientific Topic of the Program
  • Scientific Projects
  • Principal Investigators / Project Leaders
  • Core Facilities
  • CCRC and Framework of Graduate Programs at the UoC
  • Curriculum
  • Interdisciplinary Program Health Science (IPHS)
  • Selection process
  • Application deadline: July 24, 2018
  • Interviews in September 2018
  • Start of program: from Nov 1, 2018

How to apply:

If you decide to apply for the CCRC graduate program, you will need to submit the following documents and information:

Required documents:

  • Fully completed Application form (download)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) / resume (including a photo)
  • Two letters of reference from your supervisors (download suitable format); Please forward this form to your referees and ask them to e-mail or fax it DIRECTLY to the CCRC Graduate Program office.
  • Transcripts of records on your Bachelor´s and Master‘s studies (certified copies in English or German)
  • Copies of your Bachelor´s and Master´s certificates (certified copies in English or German)
  • If available, English language skills certificate (i.e. TOEFL)

Please send your complete application via e-mail to: CCRC office
e-mail: ccrc.phd@uni-koeln.de

>Application Form

>Request for Reference Letter

Short description

Arterial vascular disease has long been considered as a state of adverse structural remodeling within arteries upon accumulation of circulating and vessel wall-derived cells, matrix, and cholesterol – histological hallmarks of atherosclerosis. However, more subtle alterations of vascular homogeneity and in particular vascular stressors have emerged as critical pre-requisites and drivers for a large spectrum of diseases. The major aim of our collaborative research training group (RTG) is to identify common vascular stressors and overlapping or redundant cellular signaling responses across a broad range of vascular disease entities. Our RTG welcomes highly motivated PhD and MD students to actively pursue cutting-edge research on individual, yet coordinated research projects, that are directly related to answering pertaining key questions for specific diseases in this research field. This RTG, embedded into the Cologne Cardiovascular Research Center (CCRC) aims to educate the next generation of cardiovascular researchers and to foster better understanding of the translational needs in this important medical area.

Figure 3.1 Abberant cellular signaling and stress activators / responses in VASCULAR DYSFUNCTION, and their role in distinct clinical phenotypes. Illustration of the main focus of research projects on mechanistic insights (projects D, H, I) and/or disease-oriented models (projects A, B, C, E, F, G), creating multiple opportunities for collaborations within the CCRC-RTG, and enabling the identification of redundant mechanisms as well as multi-facetted basic research training for PhD/MD students.

Core research idea and main research focus

The overarching aim of this interdisciplinary and collaborative research initiative is to unravel common underlying mechanisms linking inflammatory stressors and cell signaling responses in arterial vascular disease. The identification of critical and redundant stressors as well as pertaining cellular signaling pathways that propagate dysintegrity of the arterial bed should be a prelude to revealing potential therapeutic targets for a wide range of different vascular diseases (Figure 3.1). 

In this context, we will also consider mechanisms of inflammatory resolution. Since vascular dysfunction leads to a broad range of diseases and conditions, the expected gain of newly found knowledge and increased understanding should ultimately translate into the development of novel interventions, such as preventive paradigms, as well as new therapeutic options to treat vascular dysfunction in various organ systems and heart, lung and kidney in particular.

Available Core facilities

  1. Histopathology; Institute of Pathology (Büttner / Quaas)
  2. Proteomics; CMMC/CECAD Central Facility (Freese / Krüger)
  3. Molecular Imaging; Institute of Radiochemistry and Experimental Molecular Imaging, University of Cologne, and Forschungszentrum Jülich (Neumaier)
  4. Functional Genomics; Cologne Center for Genomics (CCG) (Nürnberg)
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