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ESR10: JeNaCell, Germany

Stimulating and imaging regeneration in osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain caused by intervertebral disc degeneration


JeNaCell GmbH in close cooperation with its partner Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena focusses in the European ITN project Carthago (https://itn-carthago.sites.uu.nl/) on delivery of anti-inflammatory agents to human tissue culture and the monitoring of the stimulated regeneration process in osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain caused by intervertebral disc degeneration. In the framework of CARTHAGO, we are offering a PhD position for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR). Your tasks within the CARTHAGO project will comprise the development of anti-inflammatory drug-delivery systems based on non-viral genes in comparison to other active pharmaceutical ingredients, the detailed evaluation of inflammation inhibition, induction of inflammation resolution and tissue regeneration by means of pharmacological manipulation of inflammation-relevant mediators. Among others, NIR and optoacoustic imaging tools will be used to monitor the process.

During your engagement in CARTHAGO, 2 secondments to international partner organizations are planned. During your 1st secondment to Lumiprobe (USA), you will get insights in chemical modifications of active agents, allowing an imaging of the cellular regeneration process applying NIR and optoacoustic imaging protocols. During your 2nd secondment to UMCU (The Netherlands), you will set up and monitor diverse human cartilaginous and intervertebral disc cell and tissue cultures, including bioreactor-culture of explanted tissues. Together with other ESRs, in vivo studies showing proof of principle will be initiated. You will be involved in every aspect of cutting-edge research, design, fabrication and testing of potentially new treatments for patients suffering from osteoarthritis or low back pain.



We are looking for a candidate with a profound background in pharmacy or biochemistry, excellent performance during study and high interest in biomedical research with focus on bioimaging and bioanalytic as well as molecular pharmacology, who is able to collaborate in a diverse team, consisting of fundamental and clinical scientists from many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, molecular biology and medicine.


Hosting and Partner Institution

The host of ESR 10, JeNaCell GmbH situated in Jena, Germany, develops pioneering applications and establishes enhanced treatments in health care, based on biotechnologically derived cellulose (BC). From advanced wound and skin care, (trans)dermal delivery systems to implants our young company covers unmet needs of today´s society. Two of our pioneering products are already registered and sold worldwide. At JeNaCell, the ESR will be supervised by Dr. Dana Kralisch (CEO) and hosted within the R&D department, focussing on the development and technical transfer of bioactive products including active ingredient delivery systems for medical as well as life style applications.

The ESR will be enrolled to the group of Prof. Oliver Werz, chair of Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry, situated at the Institute of Pharmacy at FSU Jena, Germany. The research focus of Prof. Werz comprises pathobiochemistry of inflammation and inflammation-induced cancer, molecular and biochemical pharmacology of anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic agents, gender-specific medicine and pharmacology, target-oriented drug discovery and bioanalytical processing of drugs, target identification and target validation as well as natural substances as active ingredients

The JeNaCell ESR furthermore has the chance to join the “Graduiertenakademie” of FSU Jena. This interdisciplinary and cross-faculty research management programme is organized by Jena University. The Graduiertenakademie offers access to a variety of post-graduate courses from introductory levels to academic writing.


Terms of employment

Start of employment: between May 1st  2021 and August 31st 2021

The selected PhD candidate will be offered a full-time position at JeNaCell, initially for one year. Upon successful evaluation of the first year, the contract will be extended for two more years (total: 3 years). Your gross salary will be in line with the collective labour agreement of your employer.

Gross salary: 2,560 Euro per month; Mobility allowance: 485 Euro per month

The mobility allowance will be included in the ESRs salary. There is an additional internal individual budget to attend conferences.

The presented PhD employment contract is in line with the MSCA guidelines.