Fellowships for doctoral positions

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 974 “Communication and System Relevance in Liver Injury and Regeneration” (Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. D. Häussinger) announces open positions for Doctoral Dissertations in the field of Liver Research.

 MD Scholarships in 2020

in the Integrated Research Training Group of the Collaborative Research Center SFB 974

The collaborative research center SFB 974: Communication and System Relevance in Liver Injury and Regeneration is funded by the DFG since 2012. It comprises 16 projects, which are grouped around the field of “Liver damage and regeneration” and “System Relevance” as well as one central service project and the integrated research training group (iGK).

Liver diseases have a high prevalence and are therefore of major clinical and socio-economical relevance. Most liver diseases become chronic, thereby affecting the whole organism (systems relevance). Impaired liver function and the consequences of altered hepatic hemodynamics progressively hamper the function of other organ systems. Often the clinical presentation and prognosis of liver diseases are determined by the impaired function of other organ systems (e.g. hepatic encephalopathy). In turn, other organ systems modulate liver function and affect the course of liver injury and regeneration. Directly after liver damage, regenerative processes were initiated. The central working hypothesis is that on the basis of metabolic, immunological and neuroendocrine factors a delicate equilibrium exists between liver injury and regeneration, which is controlled by different factors such as cytokine and chemokine patterns, growth factors, the hydration state, pathogens or bile acids. This equilibrium can be either shifted in favor of regeneration rather than injury and therefore regeneration can be potentially targeted by pharmacological therapies. Conversely, a shift of the balance towards liver injury implicates progressive dysfunction of the liver with consequences for other organ systems. Aim of the Collaborative Research Centre 974 is to gain insights into mechanisms and communication processes that govern liver regeneration and injury on a molecular level and to understand the effects of liver injury and regeneration on other organ systems. The research projects will focus on the mechanisms that orchestrate liver injury and regeneration with special emphasis on cytokines, chemokines, bile acids, integrin signaling, organic osmolytes, the immune system, pathogens, the mechanisms regulating angiogenesis and on the role of hepatic stellate cells as liver progenitor cells and the space of Dissé as stem cell niche. With respect to systems relevance of liver injury and regeneration, the focus will be on the analysis of bile acids as regulators of the function of other organ systems and on the investigation of hepatic encephalopathy on a molecular, cellular and systems level. The insights obtained will provide a basis for the development of novel therapeutic strategies utilizing the potential of the liver to regenerate and a systems analytical understanding of organ networks for the treatment of liver diseases.

We offer

  • MD scholarschips for 6 months each for medical students to perform an experimental dissertation in the field of liver research of the SFB 974.
  • All students performing their doctoral thesis within the SFB 974 will participate in the Integrated Research Training Group which offers an additional training in the field of hepatology (lecture and seminar series, hands on workshops, master courses, communication skills, etc.). For detailed information including major topics of the collaborative research center, participating institutions and their scientific projects, please visit our website



  • We are looking for motivated applicants with an excellent academic background and an interest in liver research.
  • Applicants for 6 month MD scholarships should hold their “Physikum" (preliminary medical examination). We encourage a 6 month sabbatical for the experimental part of the MD thesis.

If you are interested in one of our Research Groups, please apply online: ONLINE APPLICATION

Applications from women are highly encouraged. Women with comparable qualifications will receive particular consideration, unless another applicant displays compelling reasons to prefer this person. Applications from suitably qualified severely disabled persons or disabled persons regarded as being of equal status according to Book IX of the German Social Legal Code (SGB – Soziales Gesetzbuch) are encouraged. Disabled persons with equal qualifications will be given priority.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact our coordinator by E-Mail (sfb-974.igk@med.uni-duesseldorf.de)

Application guide

Please note that only complete applications will be considered.

Complete application consists of:

  • the filled-in online application form

  • letter of motivation including your research interests

  • two recommendation letters

  • one additional pdf file with:

    • your high school diploma, your diploma or masters certificate and if necessary it´s translation into English

    • other certificates obtained for coursework or other major certificates by your university (for example: GRE, TOEFL)

If you are still waiting for some important documents please do not hesitate to apply. Upload a document which explains your current situation in order to finish the application process.

We look forward to your application! 

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