The working group of “Alternative method development for environmental toxicity testing” led by Prof. Ellen Fritsche is looking for a student (f/m/d) for a Master Thesis with the title:
Refinement of in vitro assays for the identification of chemicals causing endocrine disruption (ED)-induced developmental neurotoxicity (DNT)
The project: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been intensively studied regarding their harmful effects on human health. More and more studies report that early developmental exposure to EDCs causes developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). However, systematic testing for DNT is not included in the state‑of‑the‑art risk evaluation of potential EDCs. Therefore, an adjustment of the EDC risk assessment adding testing strategies for DNT is urgently required.
This project focuses on the screening of known and unknown EDCs for their potential to cause endocrine disruption (ED)-induced DNT. The applied test systems are based on our established DNT in vitro testing battery modelling neurodevelopmental endpoints including migration, proliferation, and targeted differentiation in human- and rodent-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) grown as neurospheres.
In this master project, previously established test systems for hormone-dependent DNT will be refined, validated and screened with a defined library of EDCs. The validation of the ED-DNT test systems will contribute to their readiness for regulatory acceptance. Furthermore, our portfolio of new approach methodologies detecting ED-induced DNT will be expanded by developing new methods to identify putative EDCs. Moreover, additional focus will be put on elucidating interactions of different hormonal pathways as well as modes of action affecting key neurodevelopmental processes.
Additional information on the project: https://endpoints.eu/
- You are a motivated student
- You have fun at work, good communication skills, and team spirit.
- You are enthusiastic, curious, and wish to move science forward.
- You have a bachelor degree in life/environmental sciences (biology, (bio)medical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, bioengineering sciences, (eco)toxicology, environmental health, or equivalent). Experience in endocrinology and neuroscience is a plus.
- You have good written and oral knowledge of the English language.
- Experience with cell culture is desirable.
- Master thesis project focused on the current needs of the European risk assessment.
- Implementation of your work into tools for regulatory application.
- Being part of a big international consortium to build your professional network.
- Help the world in the transition to animal-free methods.
- Pleasant working atmosphere and friendly team.
Start: March/April 2023
Please address your application (short letter of motivation, CV, qualification certificates) with the reference „DNT“ in the subject line as one summarized document in PDF format by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Prof. Ellen Fritsche and Dr. Katharina Koch
IUF – Leibniz-Institut für umweltmedizinische Forschung
Auf’m Hennekamp 50
Application documents submitted by post are not returned. Documents for applicants not considered are destroyed appropriately once the procedure is complete.