The University Hospital Ulm and its employees stands for a modern and high quality patient care, excellent university research and medical education focused on the future as well as apprenticeships in attractive professional fields. The requirements for this are qualified and committed employees.(f/m/d)

PhD student (f/m/d, TV-L 13/65%) - thesis in biomaterial and neuronal trauma research

A position for a PhD thesis (65%/ 3 years funding secured) is available in the group of Prof. Dr. Bernd Knöll at the Institute of Physiological Chemistry of Ulm University.The preferred starting time would be Jan/Feb 2021.

The project:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an external mechanical impact results in transient or persisting
cognitive and physical impairments. Together with our collaboration partners from the MPI for Polymer Research (Mainz) we aim to identify new bioactive molecules that alleviate these impairments.
We want to explore a new type of bioactive material in tissue regeneration. So-called self-assembling
peptides (SAPs) spontaneously polymerize into supramolecular nanofibers. Such nanofiber networks will be used as “tissue glue” filling lesion gaps of injured brains to promote adhesion and growth of damaged neurons. Based on our previous published work (Schilling et al., Advanced Functional Materials 2019) demonstrating already the positive activities of such SAP derived nanofibers in cell culture and in animal models we want to further improve the regeneration stimulating potential of this biomaterial. For this, SAP derived nanofibers will be further functionalized by chemical conjugation of additional biologically active molecules such as growth factors. Subsequently, such hybrid nanofibers will be tested in several regeneration experiments using the injured mouse brain as model system. First of all, we analyze whether such functionalized nanofibers serve as growth substrate to enhance adhesion and axon growth of neurons in cell culture. Successful candidates will be applied to a mouse model of TBI. Here, nanofibers will be injected into the cavity of the injured brain and we will subsequently monitor regeneration animals by several parameters including recovery of motor Performance.

We expect:

We offer:

Further information about our lab can be found at:

Applications including a CV, a short statement of your research interests and experience (max. 2 pages) and contact data for 2 references should be emailed to Prof. Bernd Knöll,

The employment occurs by the administration of the hospital in the name and on behalf of the state Baden-Württemberg. Severely handicapped applicants will be given priority in the event of equal suitability. The University Hospital Ulm strives to increase the share of woman in those areas in which they are underrepresented. Appropriately qualified women are asked to apply. A continued employment following the temporary working contract is possible.