PhD Position - Department of Epileptology ST-1025

Universitätsklinikum Bonn

Das Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Wir vereinigen Exzellenz in Forschung, Lehre und Krankenversorgung sowie Wirtschaftlichkeit.

Im UKB werden pro Jahr etwa 500.000 Patient*innen betreut, es sind ca. 9.000 Mitarbeiter*innen beschäftigt und die Bilanzsumme beträgt 1,6 Mrd. Euro. Neben den über 3.300 Medizin- und Zahnmedizin-Studierenden werden pro Jahr weitere 585 Personen in zahlreichen Gesundheitsberufen ausgebildet. Das UKB steht im Wissenschafts-Ranking sowie in der Focus-Klinikliste auf Platz 1 unter den Universitätsklinika (UK) in NRW und weist den dritthöchsten Case Mix Index (Fallschweregrad) in Deutschland auf.

  • Teilzeit
ab sofort

The University Hospital Bonn (UKB) is a maximum care hospital with more than 1,300 beds. Our more than 9,000 employees take on tasks in research, teaching and patient care as well as in public health at the highest level. In the science ranking (LOMV) and in the economic result, the UKB is number 1 of the university hospitals in NRW and in 2021 had the third highest case mix index of the university hospitals in Germany.

A PhD Position focusing on pathomechanisms of autoimmune encephalitis is available at

the Department of Epileptology, University Hospital Bonn, Germany.

The PhD part-position (ca. 25h/week) is in supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) focusing on the characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation in epilepsy. In this project, we will investigate (1) key pathomechanisms of autoimmune encephalitis, which represents an emerging entity in clinical epileptology, in order to develop novel therapeutic strategies, (2) the functional role of specific autoantibodies in autoimmune encephalitis, and (3) the impact of neuronal morphology and connectivity on the development of hyperexcitable networks.

This research is based on a wide array of methods including in vitro (e. g. Pitsch et al., 2020, PMID: 32196746) and mouse models (viral vector gene transfer/transgenic, EEG/video recordings) approaches, cell biological, molecular, biochemical, histological as well as imaging techniques (e. g. Pitsch et al., 2021, PMID: 33368582). A better understanding of the molecular and functional consequences of immune cells and autoantibodies will have direct implications for better therapies aimed at interfering with autoimmune encephalitis by using pathway-specific pharmaceuticals or gene therapy.

  • The ideal candidate will be an ambitious, highly motivated, team-oriented graduate student with a strong interest in immunology and neurobiology.
  • Prior research experience with animal experimentation, microscopy, or electrophysiology techniques is advantageous but not required.
  • Candidates should hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in Neuroscience, Biological Science, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, or a related field.
  • Candidates should also demonstrate aptitude in written and spoken English.

Interested candidates should send curriculum vitae, letter of motivation indicating starting date, short description of past lab experience, copies of university degree(s) with academic records, contact information and at least two reference letters (or the referee’s contact info).

Salary will be according to the German salary scale TV-L E13 (65%). The position is initially limited to three years due the project. The University Bonn is a provider of equal opportunity in compliance with the German disability laws. Women and in particular individuals with disability are strongly encouraged to apply. We only consider candidates with whom we have the possibility to conduct a personal interview.

  • Responsible and versatile: a job with a lot of creative freedom in a collegial team
  • Flexible for families: flexible working time models, the option of a place in the company day-care center and offers for those returning from parental leave
  • Provision for later: company pension scheme
  • Clever to work: Possibility of an interest-free loan to buy an e-bike
  • Tailor-made education: Subsidized further education and training
  • Systematic start: Structured induction
  • Healthy at work: Numerous health promotion offers, free membership in UKBfit
  • Employer benefits: preferential offers for employees (corporate benefits)

Questions concerning the projects can be addressed to PD Dr. J. Pitsch (

Applications by email only can be sent to until 05th of march 2024 in a single PDF file.

PD Dr. Julika Pitsch

Department of Epileptology

University Hospital Bonn

Venusberg Campus 1

53127 Bonn

Tel.: 0228-287-19366


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