Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a collection of pathological conditions that include abdominal obesity, increased blood pressure, insulin resistance and increased blood glucose and lipids. MetS is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Combined, these cardio-metabolic diseases form a heavy burden on our society and health care system. Clearly, increasing our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms contributing to the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis will provide tools to improve prognosis, diagnosis and ultimately treatment of patients with cardio-metabolic diseases.
EndoConnect partners have recently demonstrated that endo-lysosomal processes crucially control metabolic pathways in various tissues (e.g. liver and adipose tissue). Reciprocally, it has also been shown that metabolic changes can in turn shape the dynamics of the endo-lysosomal network, implying that endo-lysosomal processes and metabolism are strongly interconnected to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Despite the recent technological advances, there are still major gaps in our basic knowledge about how these vital processes are molecularly connected, and importantly, how this knowledge can be translated into clinical-grade products and can improve healthcare.
It is the ambition of EndoConnect to fill these knowledge gaps by training talented PhD students on how to use both cellular and in vivo models to study endo-lysosomal processes and metabolism at different levels, to provide them with an interdisciplinary and intersectoral training programme to use, implement and develop state-of-the-art technologies to connect basic molecular and cell biology research with metabolism, physiology and biomedical research. EndoConnect will accomplish this by bringing different research disciplines together to investigate the interrelationship between endo-lysosomal processes and (patho)physiology, with the focus on the role of endo-lysosomal processes in metabolism and cardio-metabolic diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes, NAFLD and Cardiovascular Disease.
As a PhD student in EndoConnect you will be part of an international team of young researchers. You will have your individual research project at your host organisation, focusing on your discipline of interest. To broaden your specialized training, you will undertake internships at complementary EndoConnect partner organization. In addition, you will follow advanced interdisciplinary courses by leaders in the field of molecular and cell biology, metabolism, physiology and biomedical research. Thus, you will be trained to become one of the future leaders in this emerging interdisciplinary field.
Are you interested? Please, check the PhD position available with Nebion and Helmholtz Munich!