PhD position: Transport processes during cryopreservation of gametes and ovarian tissue (Hannover, Germany)

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We seek two PhD students to participate in a DFG-funded research project, which will start January 2019.

The aim of the project in which the candidates will participate is to obtain insights in transport of protectants and water in cells and tissues, which can be used to develop novel preservation strategies to be used in reproductive and regenerative medicine.

The project will be performed in the groups of Prof. Dr. med. vet. Harald Sieme and Prof. Dr. Ir. Willem F. Wolkers, located at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover.

The candidate is expected to participate in a highly motivated interdisciplinary small research group, which consists of biologists, biomedical engineers and veterinary scientists.

Project (1) involves studies in reproductive biology/medicine; including collection and processing of sperm and oocytes, in vitro fertilization and cultivation using porcine as well as equine material. Here microscopic and flow cytometric studies are planned looking at protectant- and freezing-induced osmotic responses and ion imbalances, cytotoxicity and protectant-membrane interactions. Furthermore, cryopreservation of ovarian cortex tissue is planned for cultivation and/or retrieval of oocytes. Another research line involves dry preservation of sperm chromatin and its use for ICSI.

Project (2) involves studies in the fields of biomedical engineering and biophysics; including spectroscopic studies, mathematical modeling, development of microfluidic devices and image analysis tools. It is planned here to use infrared spectroscopy for investigations on diffusion and permeation kinetics of various compounds in cells and tissues. Also, thermal analysis of biomolecular phase changes and physical properties of protective formulations are planned. Existing and novel models will be employed for fitting experimental data. In addition, it is planned to construct customized temperature-controlled devices for both scientific and practical applications.

We are looking for candidates who hold a university/master degree in veterinary sciences, biology, biophysics, biomedical engineering or a related discipline. The candidate should enjoy working in an interdisciplinary laboratory environment, and able to work independently as well as part of a team. Experience in reproductive biology/medicine, spectroscopic or thermal analysis techniques and/or programming software is a plus.

We offer an inspiring scientific environment, possible participation in cooperation projects as well as graduate school program.

For questions and sending applications (by e-mail; containing a letter of motivation, resume, and description of scientific experiences -preferably as one pdf-document-) please contact:

Dr. Ir. Harriëtte Oldenhof

Unit for Reproductive Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover,

Bünteweg 15, 30559 Hannover, Germany


Application deadline: 31.01.2019.