Call for Application #2021-C03 closed since July 14, 2021

Regulatory T Cell Dysfunction in Autoimmunity and Inflammaging

Call closed!

1 Group Leader (all genders)
2 Postdoctoral Researchers (all genders)
2 Research Assistants (all genders)

What we are looking for

The BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, is establishing a new, fully funded research group in the field of:

Regulatory T Cell Dysfunction in Autoimmunity and Inflammaging

If you hold a PhD or master’s degree with an outstanding track record or strong interest in the fields of autoimmunity and aging, we invite you to apply with a project proposal for a position in our new research group (1 group leader, 2 postdoctoral researchers, 2 research assistants). Each BioMed X project team is sponsored by an industry partner. The sponsor of this call for application is Merck.

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance. Treg alterations occur in autoimmune diseases as well as in age-associated diseases where Treg dysfunction may contribute to chronic inflammation or inflammaging. Tregs in autoimmune disease patients display augmented oxidative signatures and targeting these pathways ameliorates autoimmune disease in preclinical models. Similar metabolic changes have been linked to cellular senescence indicating a link between aging of T cells and autoimmune disease. Metabolic programming defining T cell fate makes this a central node for manipulation with the potential to correct autoimmune diseases and T cell senescence. Due to the pleiotropic roles of T cells beyond Tregs, relevance extends from autoimmune disease to boosting immune responses to infection or vaccination in the elderly, metabolic alteration by caloric restriction and microbiota, as well as transplant tolerance.

Project proposals should focus on the following key challenges:

  • Exploration of mechanisms of immune senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, or related immunological defects in Tregs and other T cell subsets that are shared in human autoimmunity and aging;
  • Identification and validation of robust molecular signatures of human Tregs and other T cell subsets during autoimmune disease and aging;
  • Establishment of novel in vitro culture models of T cell senescence relevant to human autoimmunity and aging as a platform for identification and validation of pathway modulators.

Original ideas based on preliminary experimental findings are particularly encouraged.

Group leader positions are intended to suit candidates who would like to develop themselves towards a leadership career path either in academia or industry and have typically between four and eight years of relevant postdoctoral research experience. Candidates for postdoctoral positions are expected to have completed a PhD or equivalent within the last four years and a certain degree of specialization in one or more relevant cutting-edge technologies.

What we offer

  • A position in a fully funded research group: the funding package covering salaries, consumables, services, travel costs, as well as access to the core facilities of neighboring research institutions in Heidelberg.
  • An initial term of two years, with the possibility of prolongation for up to three additional years.
  • An exciting research opportunity in a multidisciplinary and international research institution with a collegial and flexible working environment. There is flexibility over starting dates, but successful applicants are welcome to take up post starting November 1, 2021.

Application & Selection Process

  • Please apply online via the online application system on this website.
  • As part of the online application procedure, you will be asked to submit: (i) A competitive project proposal that gives us an idea of your scientific expertise and creative potential (3-5 pages describing an interesting core hypothesis, scientific rationale, and a unique experimental approach); (ii) Your curriculum vitae including your publication record.
  • Deadline for applications: July 11, 2021.
  • After a first selection round, candidates will be invited to a five-day innovation boot camp in Heidelberg (or virtual if pandemic regulations do not allow onsite meetings) from September 20 to 24, 2021. With guidance of experienced mentors, candidates will jointly work on their project proposals and present them in front of a jury on the final day. Successful candidates will be offered a position at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany.

About BioMed X

BioMed X is an independent research institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.


BioMed X Institute

Im Neuenheimer Feld 515
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 6221 42611 0