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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


T2D is based on many parameters: Genetic, epigenetic, lifestyle factors (nutrition and physical activity). Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, chromatin assembly state and noncoding RNAs reflect the high plasticity of the genome. These alterations contribute to stable changes in gene expression without modifying genomic DNA sequences. While epigenetics is a considerable source of inherited and acquired variability, its contribution to T2D is still unraveled.

One of the aims of the Department of Experimental Diabetology is (DIAB) is to evaluate the epigenetic contribution in the onset of obesity and T2D disease.  

Project:   micro-RNA as an important contributor of destruction of pancreatic islet in Type 2 Diabetes

Under high-fat diet conditions, male New Zealand Obese (NZO) mice develop a diabetic phenotype very similar to human T2D patients, whereas the obese (C57BL/6J, mutant in leptin, B6-ob/ob) male mice are protected from diabetes because they are able to increase islet cell proliferation and thereby producing high concentrations of insulin for compensation. We hypothesize that the transcriptional changes associated with the islet dysfunction observed in diabetes-prone mice, are induced by alteration of microRNA pattern. The aim of this project is to identify new microRNAs implicated in T2D. We are performing a mRNA and microRNA sequencing of pancreatic islets of NZO and B6-ob/ob mice, in order to clarify which genes might be regulated by specific microRNA and participate in the diabetic phenotype. The genome wide analyses require several functional validations. Thus, we are searching for a master student to participate in these functional validations.

First, we intend to validate the microRNA and total RNA sequencing data with RT-PCRq in Langerhans islets. Second, we will test if candidate microRNAs are able to suppress target gene expression in vitro by using luciferase assays. The selected microRNA will be overexpressed in a Beta cell line (Ins1) to evaluate expression of their putative targets.

We expect a very high degree of motivation, teamwork, independence, ability and willingness to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration in a diverse research environment.

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.


Please send your application in print to:

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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