International PhD College SPIN
4 PhD Positions in Neuroscience
International PhD College SPIN
SPIN is an initiative of Innsbruck Medical University and Innsbruck Leopold-Franzens University.
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Published: 15 days ago
Application deadline: May 31
Location: Innsbruck, Austria
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4 PhD Positions in Neuroscience

The international PhD College SPIN – Signal Processing in Neurons announces 4 PhD fellowships in Neuroscience. The program is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and is jointly run by the Medical University of Innsbruck and the University of Innsbruck.

SPIN Offers

  • A three year fully funded PhD program in English (€ 2045,10 gross/month) and a possibility to extend to a 4th year
  • Opportunities for stays abroad
  • Assignment of at least two scientific advisors in addition to the supervisor, in order to ensure the interdisciplinary impact and support for your work
  • Journal clubs and bi-monthly progress reports
  • Academic retreats
  • Regular meetings with leading international researchers through the Program’s own scientific meetings and international lecture series
  • Access to specialized scientific soft- and hard-skill courses and career development opportunities
  • Partnerships with other universities that are maintained for training exchange

For more information on how to apply for one of our positions listed below and on what specific requirements we set, please visit our website:


The Institute for Neuroscience (Prof. Georg Dechant) of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, is offering a 

PhD Position in Molecular Neurobiology / Stem Cell Biology

We are seeking a dynamic and goal-oriented PhD student to work on a project on the molecular biology of cognitive processes based on our recent publication in eLife. The focus of the upcoming project will be on the homeobox protein “Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 2” (Satb2), which can stimulate the formation of intra- and interchromosomal DNA loops. The functions of this protein will be studied by a mix of cutting-edge molecular and cellular techniques, applied to mouse and human neurons in vitro and to a mouse model in vivo. The work will employ neuronal differentiation of human iPS-cells, genome editing and next-generation sequencing methods in order to address the influence of 3D-genome configurations on the function of human neurons.


The Department of Physiology and Biomedical Physics (Prof. Michaela Kress) of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, is offering a

PhD Project in Neurophysiology

In order to delineate the importance of IL6/gp130 and microRNAs that have been identified in a previous project, optogenetic tools and state-of-the art electrophysiology will be used to explore the respective signaling pathways in specific neuronal populations in the mPFC in a preclinical model of neuropathic pain. The early stage researcher will address the modification of network activity and the activity of cortical neurons upon neurotransmitter stimulation and explore mPFC neurotransmitter receptor mRNA and protein expression patterns at network level with multi-electrode array recordings. These will be complemented by in depth assessment of individual neurons by using patch-clamp technology. In the same slices, the expression of microRNA will be assessed with Taqman® assays. Finally, electrophysiology will be complemented by miRNA target gene mRNA expression analysis upon stereotactic injection of viral miRNA-GFP vectors.


The Institute for Molecular Biology (Prof. Frank Edenhofer) at the University of Innsbruck is offering a

PhD Position in Neural disease modeling / Stem cell biology

The Edenhofer group focuses on 2nd generation reprogramming paradigms to derive patient-specific cell sources for neural disease modeling and cell replacement therapies. We are using reprogrammed cells and subsequent in vitro differentiation for establishing enhanced human neural models, both in 2D adherent culture and 3D self-organizing organoids. We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student with strong interest in stem cell biology and translational neuroscience. A multidisciplinary approach will be employed including cell reprograming, stem cell technology together with high resolution imaging, electrophysiology as well as optogenetic tools.


The Division of Experimental Psychiatry (Prof. Gerald Zernig) at the Medical University of Innsbruck is offering a

PhD Position in Neuroscience / Addiction Research

Gerald Zernig’s group is looking for a dynamic PhD student to study the neural basis of a reorientation away from cocaine as a prototypical drug of abuse toward dyadic (i.e., one-to-one) social interaction using, e.g., gSTED (gated Stimulated Emission Depletion) microscopy of immunofluorscently labeled neurons, dendritic morphology change analysis, transgenic mouse models (drd1cre, creTVA), and the modulation of gene expression by stereotaxic delivery of transcription vectors.

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