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Das Deutsche Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke, eine Stiftung des öffentlichen Rechts, gehört zu den Instituten der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft. Es hat die Aufgabe, neue Erkenntnisse über Zusammenhänge zwischen Ernährung und Gesundheit zu gewinnen.

Gesucht wird/werden zum nächstmöglichen Termin

1 Masterstudent/in /
Abteilung Experimentelle Diabetologie


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia caused by impaired insulin secretion due to a loss of β-cell function and/or mass. Known risk factors are obesity, inactivity as well as genetic and epigenetic predisposition. The overall aim is to identify epigenetically modulated genes that are implicated in T2D development and to evaluate whether distinct DNA methylation signatures can be used as markers for individual risk assessment.

Topic of the master thesis

We work with mice that are genetically identical but differ in their phenotype. We discriminated between diabetes-resistant (DR) and diabetes-prone (DP) mice at 10 weeks of age based on assessment of liver fat content by computed tomography. This prediction enabled us to isolate metabolically relevant tissues several weeks before disease onset. Liver transcriptome as well as liver methylome was analyzed by RNA sequencing and whole genome bisulfite sequencing, respectively. By combining both sets of data we discovered new epigenetically modulated genes that associate with T2D.


The selected master student will validate these data by RT-qPCR and pyrosequencing (primer design, PCR optimization and DNA methylation analysis). Additionally, functional analysis of CpG methylation using luciferase reporter constructs (molecular cloning, in vitro DNA methylation, cell culture) will be conducted.

Skills and requirements

The DIfE invites applicants with a bachelor degree in an appropriate discipline (e. g. biochemistry, biology, nutrition science, pharmacy) and who are enrolled in a master program for the first time.

The duration is limited to 9 months.

The institute offers excellent working conditions in an interactive and multidisciplinary research environment.


For further information and for sending your application as PDF please contact:

German Institute of Human Nutrition
Dept. Experimental Diabetology
Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116
14558 Nuthetal

 or per E-Mail to

For further information please do not hesitate to contact:

Prof. Dr. Annette Schürmann, head of department Experimental Diabetology,

Tel.: (+49) 33200/88-2368; E-Mail:

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