Post-Doctoral Position

Childhood mortality is the most important factor determining life-expectancy in the developed and developing world. This is due to the combination of increased susceptibility to viral infections and subsequent uncontrolled inflammation in children. In our laboratory we investigate the role of T helper cells in the diseases affecting young children, including a disease that occurs upon first encounter with viruses and bacteria in preterm infants, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). At present no effective therapy exists for NEC, resulting in a 25% mortality risk. We have recently uncovered a novel role of memory T helper cells in NEC in preterm infants. Our goal is to study the causes and the mechanisms of dysregulated immune responses in infants upon exposure to viruses and identify unexplored therapeutic strategies for inflammatory and infectious diseases in infants with high mortality. For the proposed study we aim to investigate the cross-talk between tissue-resident T helper cells in the infant mucosa and intestinal epithelial stem cells. We are interested in how these interactions are impacted by the microenvironment including nutrients and metabolism of T helper cells. We have implemented organoid systems of human intestinal stem cells or so called “miniguts” to study these interactions. These approaches will move our understanding beyond single cell experiments and provide the opportunity to determine the role of T helper cells in ex-vivo engineered tissue systems.

We offer a two year post-doc position in the Research Unit “Virus Immunology” (Head: Prof. Marcus Altfeld) with possibility for extension.


We are looking for highly motivated candidates with doctoral degree and a strong interest in basic and translational immunology in the group of Dr. Madeleine Bunders. Applications should include a CV, a short description of previous experiences and technical skills, and two or three references. Please submit your application by August 15, 2017. Late applications will be considered until the position is filled.

salary Payment and social benefits are in accordance with regulations of the German TV-
job type Post-Doctoral Position
organisation The Heinrich Pette Institute – Leibniz-Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI)

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Madeleine Bunders directly (

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