This project will be conducted in the research group of Jürgen Pollheimer (Pubmed:; Twitter: @PollheimerLab). The Maternal-Fetal Immunology Group (MFIG), led by Jürgen Pollheimer, is part of a larger research unit called the Reproductive Biology Unit, coordinated by Martin Knöfler, Sandra Haider, and Jürgen Pollheimer (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Vienna).

Our main goal in this project is to study processes by which the placenta changes the pregnant endometrium during early pregnancy. Using state-of-the-art technology, we are particularly focused on developing novel in vitro model systems that allow us to study interactions between fetal (trophoblast) and maternal immune cells. Expanding upon our previous scRNA-seq analyses, we plan to perform multiplexed spatial imaging (MIBI-TOF, MACSima), spatial transcriptomics and in addition aim at developing co-culture systems that combine placental organoids with maternal immune cells.


What we offer

- Freedom in research and an encouraging environment to develop your own ideas and projects

- Intensive personal supervision by the group leader

- Fully funded PhD position

- Profound experience in the field of reproductive biology and immunology

- Internationally well-accepted scientific environment

- International collaborations for scRNA-seq (Thomas Conrad, Head of Single-Cell Technologies, Charité Berlin) and spatial proteomics (Mike Angelo, Department of Pathology, Stanford University).


Feel free to contact our lab alumni or current PhD students: Sigrid Vondra (sigrid.vondra(at), Andreas Lackner (alackner(at), Philipp Velicky (philipp.velicky(at), Karin Windsperger (karin.windsperger(at), Valerie Fock (valeriefock(at); current PhD students at the Reproductive Biology Unit: Anna-Lena Höbler (anna-lena.hoebler(at); supervised by Jürgen Pollheimer), Jasmin Wächter (jasmin.waechter(at), Theresa (theresa.maxian(at), Anna-Maria Prandstetter (anna.prandstetter(at)


Your profile

- Degree in natural sciences (Msc) or related subjects such as human or veterinary medicine

- Experience and/or interest in (Reproductive) Immunology

- Wet lab experience in molecular biology

- Strong communication skills and willingness to engage in collaborations and teamwork

- Open to rethink and challenge established theories, including those originating from our own studies


Please direct your application to: juergen.pollheimer(at)


Starting date: 1. Sept. 2024; Salary according to FWF and Medical University of Vienna guidelines

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