1 Postdoc (m/f/d)

The German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) Potsdam-Rehbruecke is a member of the Leibniz Association. The institute’s mission is to conduct experimental and clinical research in the field of nutrition and health, with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of nutrition-dependent diseases, and of developing new strategies for treatment and prevention.

The Junior Research Group Muscle Physiology and Metabolism (MPM) is inviting applications for

1 Postdoc (m/f/d)

starting on November 15th, 2023.


Your Mission:

The goal of our project is to employ innovative, targeted, and reversible genetic tools to activate the body's own defenses against diabetes and obesity. These genetic tools are built upon the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, which has revolutionized genome editing. Unlike the conventional use of CRISPR/Cas9 for DNA cleavage, we use a modified Cas9 protein devoid of nuclease activity, guided by RNA molecules, to stimulate the expression of endogenous genes, an approach termed CRISPR activation (CRISPRa).

We are using CRISPRa to test the hypothesis that simultaneous activation of endogenous Ucp1 and Gdf15 prevents insulin resistance and obesity by reducing appetite and elevating energy expenditure and glucose utilization. The primary objective of this project is to explore the utility of CRISPRa in researching and addressing metabolic disorders. Within this overarching framework, the postdoctoral fellow will:

  • Use adeno-associated virus vectors and intramuscular injections to achieve CRISPRa-mediated upregulation of endogenous Ucp1 and Gdf15 in skeletal muscle in mice in vivo.
  • Conduct in vivo studies to assess the single and combined effects of increased skeletal muscle Ucp1 and Gdf15 expression on insulin sensitivity and energy balance in obese, insulin resistant mice.
  • Develop a chemically inducible CRISPRa-system to switch gene expression on and off in vivo.


Your Skills and Requirements:

  • Excellent PhD in Life Sciences, Biology, Nutritional Science, or similar
  • Experience in animal studies within the area of metabolism, FELASA certificate (or equivalent) would be desirable
  • Experience in working with adeno-associated virus vectors in vivo (intramuscular injection experience is desirable)
  • Strong knowledge and laboratory-based skills related to metabolism, biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Experience with data analyses and presentation
  • High degree of motivation and ability to work in an interactive research environment
  • Excellent English language skills
  • Curious mindset with a deep literature knowledge in metabolism and physiology


Our Offer:

  • Innovative research focused on understanding human metabolic complications
  • Working in a vibrating and scientifically stimulating environment
  • Excellent facilities and state-of-the-art equipment for metabolic and nutrition research
  • Excellent academic networking opportunities (nationally and internationally)
  • High degree of autonomy and flexibility
  • Support in developing management and grant writing skills
  • Support mobility with a jobticket for using the public transport

The advertised position is initially available for a duration of 2 years. The level of salary will be determined on the basis of standard/tariff conditions, present qualifications and professional experience (TV-L, level E13).


We are looking forward to your application!


Kindly submit your documents (cover letter detailing your motivation, CV, work and degree certificates, and references) with reference no. 2023_W05_H in the form of a PDF file

by e-mail to jobs@dife.de.