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PhD Thesis/Doktorarbeit - Biomarker Evaluation in Spontaneous Osteoarthritis (OA) in Aging Rats
Osteoarthritis is not only a painful disease, but also a tremendous economic burden worldwide. Its prevalence increases with the prolonging lifetime expectation especially in developed countries and currently there is no disease modifying drug on the market. The company works on the invention and development of disease modifying OA drugs for a decade now and belongs to the leading companies worldwide. To de-risk clinical studies, the link of biomarker modulation to disease modification is crucial. Most OA animal models are based on surgically induced destabilization of the joint, which is related to a partly different pathophysiology than age related spontaneously occurring OA in patients. This PhD program aims to investigate biomarker modulation in spontaneously occurring OA in aging rats. We developed a modular housing system in which a single unit accommodates a socially interacting group of 48 rats and contains multiple functional areas over 4 floors with a total area of 5400 cm². (Brenneis et al. 2017 Automated Tracking of Motion and Body Weight for Objective Monitoring of Rats in Colony Housing). Furthermore, we provide a state of the art in vivo µCT instrument to monitor x-ray evidence and progression of OA.
We will support a highly talented scientist to investigate the spontaneous development and progression of OA in a group of aging rats over a total of 2-3 years in an environment with high activity and social interaction. The development of OA will be characterized by multiple endpoints, such as structural modifications, symptoms and local or systemic wet biomarkers. This innovative work aims to link for the first time biomarkers to spontaneous disease emergence and progression and disease modifying drug effects in rats in a bedside-to-bench approach.
We search an exceptional innovative science talent who is highly motivated and engaged to explore unexplored routes of pharmacological investigation. The work requires technical skills to enable efficient micro-CT instrumentation, including the use of algorithms, design of analysis protocols and the data analysis itself. Intensive work with rats is a substantial part of the working package and great behavioral skills and sensitive handling of animals is a prerequisite. Additionally, we expect innovative thinking to develop measurements and read-outs in cooperation with our experienced pain and behavior experts. A deep understanding of biology, pharmacology and medicine are presupposed. We expect fluent use of German and English language, effortless dealing with current computer hard- and software and a good understanding of statistics.
The company offers an inspiring and flexible working environment with many opportunities for especially young talents to learn and to interconnect. Innovation is the central aspect of our organizational culture and behavior, and is fully support by our leadership teams. We offer a unique working package and a broad spectrum of methods and skills to be experienced. We expect full commitment and engagement and promise the same, including intense and experienced support, as well as working in a great team.
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