The Department of Experimental Biomedicine at the

Rudolf Virchow Center/University Hospital Würzburg invites applications for a

Postdoc position (f/m/d)

“Mechanisms of megakaryocyte polarization and platelet biogenesis”

Blood platelets are anucleated cells that are essential for blood clotting and maintenance of vascular integrity. Platelets are produced in the bone marrow by large precursor cells, the megakaryocytes (MKs). Platelet biogenesis is a complex process, which involves the localization of mature MKs close to sinusoids, followed by the extension of cytoplasmic protrusions (proplatelets) through the endothelium into the vessel lumen, where platelets are shed and finally sized by blood shear forces. The molecular cues that control MK localization at sinusoids and limit transendothelial passage to proplatelets are poorly understood.

We are studying the role of small GTPases of the Rho family, ubiquitously expressed cytoskeletal regulators, in the process of platelet biogenesis. Our previous work has revealed essential redundant and non-redundant functions of RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42 in platelet production and function. In this project, we aim at unraveling the role of Rho GTPases, most notably RhoA, RhoB and Cdc42 in MK polarization and transendothelial proplatelet formation under both healthy and diseased conditions. Our long-term goals comprise the specific manipulation of platelet counts in patients with thrombocytopenia/ thrombocytosis, as well as the improved in vitro production of platelets for transfusion medicine.

Activities and responsibilities

The project will be based on studying transgenic mouse models in combination with cellular expression systems, advanced in vitro and in vivo imaging techniques, biochemistry, OMICS analyses and disease models and has a strong translational context. As a postdoctoral fellow in our group you will drive your own research project and collaborate closely with other group members, as well as local and international collaboration partners. You will furthermore engage in (co-)supervising PhD students and teaching activities.

You have / Qualification profile

Suitable candidates should hold a doctoral degree in biomedicine, pharmacy, biology or a related field and have a strong interest in molecular and (vascular) cell biology/immunology, mouse models and different imaging techniques. Excellent knowledge of the English language is a prerequisite. Previous experience with genetic mouse models, preferably in the field of vascular biology, is highly advantageous. You should be able to drive and contribute to research projects and independently develop new research ideas.

Why join us / Benefits

This project is embedded in the collaborative research center/transregio CRC/TR 240 – “Platelets – Molecular, cellular and systemic functions in health and disease” funded by the German research foundation (DFG) which provides a research environment and infrastructure that is unique in the platelet field. The project furthermore involves the close interaction with long-standing international collaboration partners.

Our department is situated within the Rudolf Virchow Center, an international research center of the University of Würzburg which is part of the Medical Campus of University Hospital Würzburg. The Center provides an inter-disciplinary working environment using state-of-the-art infrastructure. The university offers also a comprehensive services concerning administrative and practical matters, e.g. the Welcome Centre (moving to Würzburg), the International Office, the Family Services as well as the JMU Research Academy (professional support and development) (see

The salary for this temporary position is commensurate with training and experience according to Collective Agreement for the Public Service of German Federal States TV-L. The position is initially limited for two years with the possibility of extension. We particularly encourage female scientists to apply. Disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualification.

Send applications to

The position will start on March 1st, 2019 or later. Applications should be sent as one single pdf-document including application letter, curriculum vitae, certificates and 3 references by e-mail until February 15th, 2019 to

The Würzburg Platelet Group / Prof. Bernhard Nieswandt (


For further questions please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Irina Pleines (