PhD Position in Immunometabolism and Microbiota in Obesity

University of Bern Department for BioMedical Research

Master-student/ PhD-student / Bioinformatician Position: Immunometabolism and Microbiota in Obesity

100% / 100% / 30%

Obesity and diabetes, both rapidly increasing in prevalence worldwide, have a tremendous medical and socio-economic impact. Both are multifactorial in their etiology, influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Obesity and Diabetes also share the characteristic of a chronic low-grade inflammatory state, that indicates that altered metabolism may alter the immune system. The gut microbiota, and microbial metabolites in particular, have been described to play an important role in disease development. However, the underlying mechanisms are still ill-defined.

In our lab we will apply innovative gnotobiotic, metagenomic and metabolomic approaches to advance our mechanistic understanding of the complex pathophysiologic interplay between gut microbiota, metabolism and inflammation driving obesity and diabetes, with the ultimate goal to inspire novel and innovative strategies for prevention and therapy of these important diseases.

Available Projects:
How is microbiota metabolism changed during diet-induced obesity? The aim of this project is to characterize the metabolome of the gut microbiota during diet-induced obesity in a gnotobiotic mouse model. Manipulation of the microbial composition and bacterial engineering will be used to influence development and treatment of diet-induced obesity.
How does the changing metabolome in diet-induced obesity influence immune functionality? The aim of this project is to elucidate how the obesity-driving metabolome impacts on immune cell metabolism and function at the molecular level and study how these changes might contribute to chronic inflammation in obesity. Manipulating immune cell metabolism accordingly will allow to assess causality and elucidate its therapeutic potential.

Requirements
We are looking for highly talented and motivated people with a strong interest and background in immunology, microbiology and/or metabolism who are willing to independently work on, and develop, a research project. Experience with animal experiments and bioinformatics is an advantage. Applicants should be fluent in English.

We offer
The lab wishes to create best possible conditions for young talents to network, be creative and develop their own ideas. You will be able to interact and train with highly skilled experts in the fields of immunology, cell biology, metabolism and microbiology. Our lab strives to having members with a diversity of backgrounds and identities. We strongly believe that diversity and interdisciplinarity fosters creativity and excellence and it is our priority to make all group members feel welcome, respected and supported.

Contact and Application
Please send your full application consisting of a motivation letter, CV and grades from you bachelor/master by
September 30th

by email to:
maria-luisa.balmer@insel.ch
More information:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=balmer%20ml
https://www.dcberne.com
https://www.udem.insel.ch
https://twitter.com/MariaLBalmer