ESR 7: Studying the cell lineage-specific mechanisms accountable for scarless skin regeneration – Germany

This vacancy is closed

Host institution: Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), Germany  


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

Enrolment PhD training program: HMGU

Planned secondments:

Brief description:

During embryonic development, skin transitions in its response to injury from regeneration (at foetal stages) to scarring (in adults). We have recently discovered that diverse embryonic fibroblast lineages impose scarring and regeneration outcomes. The main objective of this project is to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing scarring vs. regeneration, at single cell and at lineage levels, by focusing on fibroblast lineages, and developing a knowledge basis for therapeutic strategies to inhibit scarring and fibrosis in clinical use.

The project is divided into three specific objectives:

  • Characterise embryonic fibroblast lineages during regeneration-to-scarring. Determine single cell and clonal dynamics of fibroblast lineages using multi coloured “rainbow” mice.
  • Perform transplantations of collagen scaffolds infused with homogeneous fibroblastic lineages to explore scarring and regeneration scenarios. Purification and transplantation of distinct fibroblast lineages in collagen scaffolds in order to extend foetal regenerative outcomes into adult stages.
  • Identify the molecular triggers of scarring and regeneration. Single cell RNA sequencing will characterize the distinct molecular landscape of scarring and regenerative fibroblasts. Depending on the identified genes, in vitro tissue culture and in vivo functional studies will be followed that aim to reverse scarring programs back to regeneration states.

Project specific requirements:

  • MSc in Life Science/(Bio)chemistry/Biotechnology/Biomedical sciences/Biology or similar
  • Expertise in the following areas is highly recommendable: developmental biology, stem cell biology, immunology, single cell transcriptomics, proteomics analysis, microscopy techniques, mouse surgery techniques, flow cytometry and cellular purifications, tissue culture techniques
  • Successful PhD applicants are expected to participate in the structured program at the CPC Research School, which is under the umbrella of HELENA