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Postdoc: Comparative epithelial morphogenesis

Posted by , on 23 July 2016

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

From autumn 2016, a postdoctoral research position is available in the Panfilio lab to investigate morphogenesis of the insect extraembryonic (EE) membranes. These simple epithelia are highly dynamic in their role as transient, protective covers for the embryo. The aim is to understand how EE morphogenesis works at multiple levels of biological organization, from cellular ultrastructure to coordination between tissue sheets. The primary research species for the project is the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, an excellent model for studying interactions between developing epithelia via fluorescent live imaging and sophisticated genetic approaches (see the lab’s recent publications in eLife 5:e13834, and Development doi:10.1242/dev.133280).


extraembryonic morphogenesis
extraembryonic cell shape changes during tissue remodeling


The lab is in the Institute for Developmental Biology, University of Cologne, Germany (lab web page:, and has research and collaboration links with other evolutionary, developmental, and insect labs across the Biology Department of the university. With one million inhabitants, Cologne is an international, vibrant city that is well connected within western Europe.


Successful applicants will have a strong interest in developmental genetics and imaging, demonstrated by holding a Ph.D. degree and at least one first author publication in a relevant field. Required skills include standard developmental genetics techniques associated with RNAi, tissue staining, and conventional light microscopy. Experience with electron microscopy, quantitative analysis of multidimensional imaging data, transgenesis, and/or transcriptomics is desired. Depending on expertise and interest, there are possibilities for the applicant to develop his/her own research program among the topics of dynamic tissue adhesion, remodeling of the extracellular environment, and comparative transcriptional profiling. The working language of the lab is English, and strong oral and written communication skills are expected.


The position is for one year in the first instance with the possibility for annual extensions. The University of Cologne is an equal opportunity employer in compliance with German disability laws. Women and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


To apply send a research statement, CV, starting date availability, and contact details (including e-mail address and phone number) for two references as a single PDF file to Informal enquiries to further discuss the position are welcome. All applications will be considered until 20 August 2016.

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