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PhD in Retrovirology


We are looking for a talented and highly motivated PhD student to join the research group “Retrovirus Transmission” of Dr. Xaver Sewald at the Max von Pettenkofer-Institute, Department of Virology at the LMU Munich. The position is initially funded for 36 months by the DFG (TV-L E13, 65%) and is available from April 2018.


The project focuses on the mechanism of retrovirus cell-to-cell transmission. Cell contact-dependent pathways of retrovirus spread will be studied using the murine leukemia virus as a model system (Sewald et al., Nature Communications 3:1320 (2012); Sewald et al., Science 350:563 (2015)). Using visual approaches we seek to understand how retroviruses exploit cell-cell interactions for transmission and infection. This will be studied in a primary leukocyte system in vitro using advanced live cell fluorescence imaging. Single cell assays will help to dissect the mechanism of retrovirus cell-to-cell transmission. In addition, state-of-the-art intravital imaging will reveal retrovirus spread in a mouse model under physiological conditions in vivo.


Applicants should be strongly committed to basic science with great interest in infectious diseases and the ability to conduct independent research. Because of the experimental design, experience with imaging techniques (live cell imaging and/or multi-photon intravital microscopy), single cell approaches or animal models would be an asset, but is not mandatory. The PhD position requires a master´s degree/diploma in life sciences or related disciplines.


This is a great opportunity to work on an exciting research topic in a stimulating research environment. If you would like to join, please send your application (letter of motivation, CV with publication list, certificates and 2 reference contacts) by e-mail to (pdf files only):


Dr. Xaver Sewald

LMU München

Max von Pettenkofer-Institut, Virologie




Dr. Xaver Sewald, E-Mail: