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Korea-Tübingen PhD Program: Project 16/2024: PhD Project Title: Holographic optogenetic stimulation in the mouse retina

Topic Description: The retina is not just a simple light sensor; it also performs a first analysis of the image stream falling into our eye. The retina extracts not only information about, for instance, contrast, brightness, and color but also more complex visual features, such as object borders and motion directions. Hence, the retina is an excellent model system to study neural (visual) information processing at the circuit level. Our lab has established 2-photon imaging of visual stimulus-evoked neural activity in all retinal layers. To be able to manipulate retinal signal processing in a highly selective and dynamic manner, we now plan to add optogenetic manipulations to our repertoire. The aim of this project is to establish holographic stimulation of selected retinal neurons via the targeted expression of light-sensitive channels and to use this approach to test current concepts of signal integration in retinal output neurons.

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
Institute/Section/Subject: Institute for Ophthalmic Research / Center for Integrative Neuroscience / Ophthalmic Research

Supervising Professor(s): Prof. Dr. Thomas Euler

About the Supervisor(s): Our lab investigates how neural circuits in the retina process information and, specifically, what feature representations are extracted from the incoming visual scene and forwarded to higher visual areas in the brain. To this end, the lab pioneered two-photon imaging techniques that allow us to present visual stimuli while optically recording neural activity in all layers of the isolated retina with subcellular resolution. Yielding data from thousands of neurons, our experimental approach is complemented by large-scale data analysis and computational modeling. Dr. Euler received his PhD at the University of Mainz / MPI for Brain Research, Frankfurt/M. After postdoc positions at Harvard Medical School / MGH (Boston) and the MPI for Medical Research (Heidelberg), he started his lab in 2009 at the University of Tübingen. For more information, see [](; for our publications, see [](

Requirements for the application:
Required Degrees: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering or a related discipline, ideally with a background in Optics.
Language Requirements: English (IELTS 6,5 or TOEFL equivalent)
Notes: Programming skills (i.e., Python, Jupyter lab).

For further instructions on how to apply, more information on the program and contact details please see below.
Korea-Tübingen PhD Program
The University of Tübingen have established a PhD Program which supports Korean nationals from partner Universities wishing to carry out all or part of their PhD study in Tübingen.

  • Cheju National University
  • Chonbuk National University
  • Chungnam National University
  • Ewha Womans University
  • Hanyang University
  • Korea University
  • Pusan National University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sogang University
  • Sookmyung Women's University
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Yonsei University

  • Aims:
    • providing high quality research training to qualified students from Korean universities
    • developing education and research collaborations between the University of Tübingen and Korean universities and research institutions

    Target group:
    Excellent postgraduate and doctoral students from Korean partner universities who are citizens and permanent residents of the Republic of Korea at the time of application

    Application Process:
    • June 30: Application deadline. Applications must be handed in through the online application system of the University of Tübingen
    • between July 4 and 7: round of interviews in English
    • by July 30: Successful applicants will be officially informed and provided letters of admission.
    • by Oct 1: Program participants arrive in Tübingen

    • How to Apply:
      In order to apply you need to upload the following documents combined in 1 PDF
      • Cover/Motivation letter with the description of academic characteristics that qualify you to complete the PhD project successfully
      • CV
      • Academic transcripts*
      • Proof of proficient English language skills - TOEFL iBT 95 or IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

      *List of required Academic transcripts (including official translation into German or English for documents issued in Korean)
      1) Bachelor’s Degree Award Certificate / Bachelor Gradverleihungsurkunde
      2) Transcript of the subjects and marks / Fächer- und Notenübersicht for your Bachelor’s degree/ für das Bachelorstudium
      3) Master’s Degree Award Certificate / Master-Gradverleihungsurkunde
      4) Transcript of the subjects and marks for your Master’s Degree / Fächer- und Notenübersicht für das Masterstudium

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