SkinTERM ESR6: Spatially resolved -omics of tissue regeneration and scarring

Open PhD position @Helmholtz Zentrum München in the Schiller lab (Twitter: SchillerLab; Pubmed: Schiller HB – on spatially resolved omics in organ regeneration. The position is part of the Innovative Training Network “SkinTERM”, Skin Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, an EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funded project ( . This network will train a new generation of entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary and intersectorially scientists able to drive this research area further towards clinical translation in Europe. The ESR6 project will be executed in collaboration with the University of Algarve (UALG, Portugal), the VU Medical Center Amsterdam (VUMC, The Netherlands), and the company CUTISS AG (CUTISS, Switzerland).

Background: 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 will focus on the application of spatial omics methods for the molecular analysis of extracellular matrix niches to understand how tissue regeneration is modulated by ECM components.

The project: The student will use laser capture microdissection and LC-MS based proteomics as well as novel spatial transcriptomic single cell methods. In an integrative systems biology approach the pro-regenerative tissue niches in the African spiny mouse (Acomys), which is able to fully regenerate skin wounds and other organ injuries, will be compared to scarring tissues in the ordinary mouse (Mus), as well as different model systems of regeneration and fibrosis.

The Institute: The Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU; – a research institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, is a leading center in health research with a focus on Environmental Health. HMGU pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle and applies the insights gained from this research to develop individualized strategies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of major common diseases.


  • Laser capture microdissection coupled to mass spectrometry based proteomics
  • Application of spatial transcriptomic methods
  • Confocal and light sheet 3D microscopy in cleared tissues
  • Bioinformatic data analysis

Your qualification:

Eligibility criteria for ESR positions in H2020 MSCA-ITNs:

  • The candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (e.g. work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date.
  • The candidate must hold a Master’s degree, be in the first four years of his/her research career and not have a doctoral degree.

Project specific requirements:

  • MSc degree in biology or related area
  • Previous experience with systems biology is an advantage
  • Previous experience with mouse models is an advantage
  • Passion for science, innovation and creative and independent work
  • Proficient in written and spoken English
  • Team player
  • Willing to move to Germany and work for a prolonged period abroad as part of the planned secondments (the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland)
  • Successful PhD applicants are expected to participate in the structured PhD program HELENA at HMGU

Our offer:

  • Working in an innovative, well-equipped and scientifically stimulating environment
  • Unique training opportunities – the student will be embedded in a structured PhD program that is connected with the two universities in Munich LMU and TUM as well as the ITN network SkinTERM
  • Training and supervision in cutting edge technologies (single cell genomics, proteomics, computational biology)
  • Initial employment contract for 3 years with a standard public service salary (TV EntgO Bund). Attractive salary encompassing a living allowance, a mobility allowance and, if applicable, a family allowance as specified in the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Work Programme 2018-2020.

How to apply:

Application deadline: Please send your application before March 15, 2021.

Application: Upload all documents via the APPLY NOW link.

Your application must include the following documents :

  • Motivation letter for the PhD position
  • CV
  • Letters of recommendation (at least two)
  • Copies of diplomas, including grades

Selection procedure: The first selection round will be an online interview with therepresentatives of the host institutions and of the secondments. The two best candidates will give a scientific presentation on a subject relevant for the ESR project. Candidates will be selected based on:

  • Outstanding academic ability
  • Requested skills and experience for the ESR project of interest
  • Motivation of the application for the ESR position of interest
  • The level to which SkinTERM addresses their training needs and contributes to their future careers

Intended starting date: Successful applicants are expected to start May, 2021.

Contact: For more information on the SkinTERM project and application procedure please contact

For more information on this specific ESR6 project please contact