ESR 6: Development and application of histology-directed proteomics of extracellular matrix proteins associated with scarless skin regeneration – Germany

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Host institution: Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), Germany  


  • Co-supervisor: Dr. Yuval Rinkevich (HMGU, Institute of Lung Biology and Disease, Comprehensive Pneumology Center)

Enrolment PhD training program:  HMGU

Planned secondments:

Brief description:

In metazoan evolution, humans acquired ~300 large multidomain extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, which interact with each other and cells to form elaborate composite biomaterials that shape both the form and function of tissues. This project in the Schiller lab at Helmholtz Munich will focus on the development and application of spatial proteomics methods for the molecular analysis of extracellular matrix niches to understand how tissue regeneration is modulated by ECM components.

The student will use laser capture microdissection and LC-MS based proteomics. Furthermore, the project aims at investigating protein interactions within the ECM tissue niche using chemical crosslinking in conjunction with mass spectrometry (crosslinking-MS). Pro-regenerative ECM in the African spiny mouse (Acomys) will be compared to scarring ECM in the ordinary mouse (Mus), as well as different model systems of regeneration and fibrosis.

Specific objectives:

  1. Comparative proteomic analysis of skin regeneration in Acomys and Mus. Matrix proteins will be profiled by mass spectrometry and localised within discrete tissue regions, ultimately providing molecular signatures of the differences in skin regeneration between Acomys and Mus.
  2. Time-course proteomics study for scarless skin regeneration process in Acomys. A comparative molecular study will be carried out at different time points up to the complete skin regeneration. In addition, the extracellular matrix produced by foetal/adult human fibroblasts in vitro will be analysed by mass spectrometry
  3. Systematic proteomic comparison of regenerating foetal skin and scarring adult skin in Mus.

Project specific requirements:

  • MSc in Life Science/(Bio)chemistry/Biomedical sciences/Biology or similar
  • Previous experience in some of the following areas is requested: protein biochemistry and mass spectrometry based proteomics, bioinformatics and systems biology, histopathology (FFPE, imaging, etc.) and mouse models of disease
  • Passion for science, innovation and creative and independent working style
  • Successful PhD applicants are expected to participate in the structured program at the CPC Research School, which is under the umbrella of HELENA

Please apply before March 15, 2021 via this APPLY link.