ESR 4: Elucidate the effects and reveal mechanisms of hyperthermia in combination with radiotherapy on the innate and adaptive immune system in pre-clinical model systems

PhD research

Host: Prof. Udo Gaipl, Benjamin Frey

Recruiting organisation: Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (UKER), Department of Radiation Oncology, Universitätsstr. 27, 91054 Erlangen, Germany

Duration: 36 months


It has become obvious that hyperthermia affects the immune system, but detailed knowledge about how hyperthermia exerts directly or indirectly influence on cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems is still scarce. Especially the joint modes of action together of hyperthermia with radiotherapy on the immune system needs deeper investigations.


The doctoral candidate will collect pre-clinical data on innate and adaptive immune effects following radiation (RT), hyperthermia (HT), and especially a combination of both (RHT). In vitro cell culture experiments focusing on danger signals induced by RHT will be complemented by analyses in mice of tumor infiltrating immune cells and systemic immune changes.

Our research team

The research team for this project at the UKER consists of Prof. Udo Gaipl and PD Benjamin Frey.

They funded the Radiation Immunobiology at the Department of Radiation Oncology of the UKER in 2007. They are leading experts on immune modulations by radiation, hyperthermia, dying and activated cells (link).

Your experience

  • Candidates should have a Master’s degree in Biology, Immunology, Molecular Medicine, Life Sciences, or related fields
  • Experience with pre-clinical mice models
  • Basic knowledge in immunology and experience with standard cell biology
  • Working as part of a team
  • Excellent higher education track record and strong scientific curiosity
  • Fluent spoken and written English skills

In addition, the following experience would be helpful, but not essential:

  • Experience in multicolor flow cytometry
  • Experience in cell biology
  • Experience in radiobiology

We seek a highly motivated scientist who enjoys an interdisciplinary environment and an interdisciplinary project, able to work independently but also as part of a team.

Our offer

This 3-year PhD position is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 955625.  You will be appointed as fulltime PhD for 3 years with the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) programme offers a highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment [Living Allowance = €37.320/year (correction factor to be applied per country) + Monthly mobility allowance = €600. An additional monthly allowance of €500 is applicable depending on family situation. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Your application

See recruitment procedure. You can apply using the online application form. For more information about the position you can contact [Prof. Dr. Udo Gaipl; incl link hyperboost website] (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +49 9131 85-44258).

Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

At our Department of Radiation Oncology of the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen we offer the entire spectrum of modern radiotherapy and multimodal radio-oncological therapies from one source at the highest level. Clinical aspects of radiation oncology are predominantly examined within phase I, II, and III trials. This takes place on the ward, in the outpatient department, the therapeutics department as well as the treatment planning department and hyperthermia unit.

The main focus of the Radiation Immunobiology Group is set on how ionizing irradiation alone delivered in distinct fractions and especially in combination with further immune modulation such as hyperthermia is capable of inducing systemic and long-lasting anti-tumor immune reactions.