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Next Generations Fellowship - Centre for Trophoplast Research - University of Cambridge

Next Generations Fellowship - Centre for Trophoplast Research 3 years fixed term  - University of Cambridge 

Closing date: 30 January 2023

Application portal: Next Generation Research Fellow (Fixed Term), Centre for Trophoblast Research - Job Opportunities - University of Cambridge 

The Centre for Trophoblast Research

The Centre for Trophoblast Research (CTR) was founded in 2007 as a Centre of excellence to promote scientific study of the placenta, early development, and maternal-fetal interactions during pregnancy. It brings together over 30 Principal Investigators, many of whom are recognized international experts in their fields. The CTR was one of the University of Cambridge’s first inter-school initiatives, bridging research in the Departments of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Genetics, Pathology, and allied institutes, including Metabolic Science, as well as the Gurdon, Sanger, Babraham and Stem Cell Institutes.

Next Generation Fellowship

The CTR has an opening for a Next Generation Fellow who will complement and synergise with our existing research programmes. Next Generation Fellowships are a springboard to a long and successful career in the field of placental and reproductive biology and are aimed at promoting the careers of high-calibre individuals pursuing innovative research falling within the remit of the Centre. Next Generation Fellowships are highly flexible to suit individual needs and to enable the postholder to develop as an independent researcher within a supportive and stimulating environment. Holders are expected and will be supported, to apply for Research Fellowship/Career Development Awards from research councils or other funders or a faculty position during their tenure.

Next Generation Fellows will be mentored to develop and establish an independent research program to carry out research that will complement that of other groups within the Centre for Trophoblast Research. Next Generation Fellows will be expected to contribute fully to the activities of the CTR and to their host department. They will supervise MPhil/masters, summer, and/or undergraduate students. They may be a co-applicant on research grant applications to recruit, train, and co-supervise postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, technical staff, and PhD students, depending on the outcome of external funding. They will act proactively to manage their group members.

The post holder will be expected to create a strong track record of publishing high-impact papers and disseminate the results of their work in any ways that seem appropriate and effective (e.g. via conferences and seminars). They will be responsible for compliance with all the relevant laws (Home Office, HTA, HFEA).

Candidates should hold a PhD and have a high-quality publication track record in academic journals or equivalent. Please refer to the further particulars document for a full list of essential skills and qualifications.

Appointments will be made on a fixed-term, full-time, basis for a period of 3 years, although we would also welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements. The contract further includes research consumables/equipment up to £20,000 per annum & travel support up to £750.

How to Apply

To apply to this post, candidates should first identify a research Sponsor from the list of Principal Investigators ( within the Centre for Trophoblast Research, and discuss their research plans with them.

In addition to this, pleasure ensure that you upload the application documentation as follows:

(i) Curriculum Vitae (CV)

(ii) Up to 3 letters of reference

(iii) Letter of support from your chosen CTR sponsor

(iv) CTR Next Generation Fellowship application form (please see Further Information on the job posting)

We welcome applications from across a diverse range of research relevant to our Grand Challenges (

The application deadline is 30th January 2023, and we aim to hold Zoom interviews for shortlisted candidates within 2-3 months after the closing date.



IFPA Meeting in New Zealand 2023

International Federation of Placenta Associations Meeting
Rotorua, New Zealand
5 - 8 September 2023


 It is our pleasure to announce the 2023 meeting of the International Federation of Placenta Associations to be held in Rotorua, New Zealand from the 5th – 8th September 2023.

Please note this meeting was to be held in New Zealand in 2022, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact travel, the whole IFPA meeting schedule has been migrated by 12 months.

The theme of the 2023 Meeting is Whenua: The foundation of life and this pays respect to the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. 

Whenua means both land and placenta and Māori culture places great reverence in the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual nourishment provided by both placenta and land. 

Rotorua is the perfect setting for IFPA 2023, steeped in cultural history you will be able to experience all aspects of our amazing Māori culture amongst a unique backdrop of geothermal wonderland and exceptional adventures and activities for all. 

IFPA 2023 will incorporate leading developments in the field of placentology, with a mission to attract new presenters and delegates to the IFPA family, and involve researchers from all career stages in the conference programme. This will be a meeting not to be missed!

We look forward to (finally) welcoming you to Rotorua in 2023.

Associate Professor Jo James

University of Auckland

Convenor, Local Organising Committee"

MASTER THESIS PROJECT: Role of TGF-β signaling in placental macrophages – Hofbauer cells

MASTER THESIS PROJECT: Role of TGF-β signaling in placental macrophages – Hofbauer cells

Research Background: Hofbauer cells (HBCs) are resident macrophages of the feto-placental unit that regulate immune tolerance and tissue homeostasis (1). HBCs of the healthy placenta mainly exhibit an anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype and are primarily involved in phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, resolution of inflammation, tissue repair, and wound healing (2). Under exaggerated inflammatory conditions, such as preeclampsia (PE), a phenotypic switch to M1 polarization has been proposed. In macrophages, the TGF-β signaling pathway controls a variety of cellular processes and coordinates events that are critical for the progression and resolution of inflammatory responses. In the canonical signaling pathway, TGF-β binds to TGF-β receptors I - II (TGF-RI, TGFßRII), activating one of its major signal transducers, Smad3 (3). Smad3 is thought to play a role in maintaining the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype. In addition, TGF-β is involved in the induction of M2 polarization and the regulation of MMP9 transcription and phagocytosis (4,5). The mechanisms and role of TGF-β signaling in Hofbauer cells are poorly understood. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of TGF-β/Smad3 signaling in primary HBCs under the inflammatory milieu of preeclampsia and its involvement in M1/M2 polarization and functionality of macrophages, such as phagocytosis and tissue remodeling.

Methods: Isolation of primary placental macrophages from preeclamptic and control placentas. To investigate subsequent signaling mechanisms, macrophages will be treated with selective inhibitors and ligands. Macrophage polarization will be determined using multicolor flow cytometry and molecular methods such as qPCR. In addition, analysis of the secretome will be performed. To investigate the signaling network, samples will be analyzed using qPCR, immunoblots, and phospho-flow cytometry. Student will perform the functional assays such as phagocytosis assay, apoptosis assay and gelatin zymography.


The applicant should be highly motivated and have an interest in basic medical research.

Furthermore, applicant should a Bachelor's degree in life science fields such as (molecular) biology, pharmacology and biochemistry/biotechnology.

Good English proficiency is required, since daily laboratory work is performed in English

What we offer:

 Opportunity to broaden technical laboratory skills

 Supervision and guidance during experiments, data analysis and thesis writing

 Working on a highly clinically relevant topic of placental research and processing of human samples

 Being part of highly motivated and curious international team of students/Postdocs

 Publication of generated data

For further information or to submit the application please contact:

Prof. Dr. Christian Wadsack - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monika Horvat Mercnik MSc – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical University of Graz

Phone: +43 316 385-17841 Additional

Kliniknews Frauenklinik August 2022