ESR 8: Isolation and propagation of sweat gland stem cells for bioengineered ‘sweatable’ skin – 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:

Current treatments for burn victims involve grafting of skin substitutes that lack sweat glands. The availability of a ‘sweatable’ skin, a skin substitute that integrates sweat gland stem cells capable of generating functional sweat glands, would provide the necessary thermoregulatory functions of the original skin that were lost following injury. We previously identified the embryonic stem cell lineages that develop the eccrine sweat glands in mice Here, we aim to use state-of-the-art genetic lineage tracing, flow cytometry and single cell organoid cultures in order to grow sweat gland stem cells, from mouse and human skin. Our overall goal is to develop a ‘sweatable’ autologous skin.

The project is divided into three specific objectives:

  • To isolate sweat gland stem cells from mouse ventral paws. Use genetic lineage tracing approaches to isolate murine sweat gland stem cells and  performing RNA sequencing analysis of sweat gland stem cells in order to identify distinguishing markers.
  • To generate single cell organoid platforms for ex vivo propagation of mouse sweat glands. Study sweat gland development; analyse the cellular composition and cellular heterogeneity of sweat glands; develop organoid assays in order to screen for pathways that support growth of sweat glands.
  • To identify and isolate human sweat gland stem cells. Isolate human sweat gland stem cells from biopsies; Identify sweat gland surface markers; develop a human sweat gland organoids from single cells.

Project specific requirements:

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