PhD Student in the Laboratory of Molecular Basis of Synaptic Plasticity

Field: life sciences

Results of the competition:

As a result of the conducted competition, the competition committee has recommended Piotr Ostapczuk for the position.


Position in the project: PhD student
Laboratory: Laboratory of Molecular Basis of Synaptic Plasticity
Scientific discipline: Life sciences
Keywords: mitochondria, proteostasis, neurodegeneration, mTOR pathway, integrated stress response (ISR), Tau protein
Job type: Stipend/scholarship
Number of job offers: 1
Stipend amount/month: 5000 PLN (gross/gross)
Position starts on: 01.10.2020
Maximum period of contract/stipend agreement: 24 months, with a possibility of extension up to 36 months
Institution: Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw
Project leader: Dr Łukasz Samluk
PhD supervisor: Dr hab. Magdalena Dziembowska
Project title: The effect of cytosolic adaptive responses associated with long-term mitochondrial stress on the Tau protein aggregation.
Competition type: OPUS 17
Financing institution: National Science Centre

Project description:
Mitochondria were believed to be responsible mainly for energy conversion, but nowadays they are also recognized as very important signaling organelles. Many studies demonstrated the influence of mitochondrial stress on cytosolic signaling pathways, which can affect cellular proteostasis and cause diseases. However, still mostly unknown is how cellular adaptive responses triggered by dysfunctional mitochondria can induce protein aggregation, which is a hallmark of all neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. the Alzheimer’s disease, in which β-amyloid and Tau protein aggregates can be observed in patients’ brains. In our previous research, we discovered that components of the mTOR pathway and integrated stress response (ISR) are affected under
long-term mitochondrial stress. Interestingly, similar changes in the mTOR pathway were observed previously in neurons under  mitochondrial stress and in brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. We hypothesize that these adaptive responses triggered under mitochondrial stress enable sufficient protein synthesis and cell survival but they could be associated with additional processes such as protein aggregation. Therefore, we want to check if these cellular adaptive responses are involved in Tau protein aggregation upon mitochondrial

Key responsibilities include:
Planning, performing and analyzing experiments from all the research tasks. Disseminating results among scientific and non-scientific communities, and preparing manuscripts.
The main task of Ph.D. student will be a validation of mass spectrometry results and a functional analysis of selected proteins in order to establish their role in Tau protein aggregation.

Profile of candidates/requirements:
We seek motivated candidates with:
– MSc degree in biology or related field. The MSc degree must be obtained before the date of employment in the project – until 30.09.20 at the latest;
– Communicative English;
– Strong interest in cellular proteostasis, signaling pathways and neurobiology;
Experience in mammalian cell culture techniques, Western blotting, Confocal microscopy, Flow cytometry, Mass spectrometry, qPCR or Molecular cloning is not necessary but it would be an asset.

The successful candidate will be chosen on the basis of research achievements, laboratory skills, the ability to teamwork, and the ability to communicate in English.

After successful recruitment, the candidate will have to obtain the status of PhD student at the University of Warsaw (Doctoral School of Exact and Natural Sciences), according to standing procedures (The registration deadline is 28.06.2020)

Required documents:
1. Cover letter
2. Current curriculum vitae including a description of prior research experience;
3. Copy of MSc degree (or, if the MSc degree has not been obtained yet, a certificate/document about the date of MSc degree defense)
4. A list of publications and conference presentations;
5. At least two reference contacts (with phone numbers and e-mails);
6. A transcript of record from undergraduate studies or from the first 3 years in case of uniform studies.

We offer:
Stimulating and friendly work environment.
The possibility to participate in scientific conferences.
The opportunity to learn many laboratory techniques.

Please submit the documents to:
Application deadline: 14.06.2020
Date of announcing the results: 22.06.2020
Method of notification about the results: e-mail
To allow us to process your data, please include in your application the signed information on the personal data processing, available at:

Information about the competition is also available on the University of Warsaw website.


Deadline: 14/06/2020

Tags: mitochondria, proteostasis, neurodegeneration, mTOR pathway, integrated stress response (ISR), Tau protein