AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

PhD Thesis “Human Blood-brain Barrier in Vitro Models for Regulatory Use”

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As Austria's largest research and technology organisation for applied research, we are dedicated to make substantial contributions to solving the major challenges of our time, climate change and digitisation. To achieve our goals, we rely on our specific research, development and technology competencies, which are the basis of our commitment to excellence in all areas. With our open culture of innovation and our motivated, international teams, we are working to position AIT as Austria's leading research institution at the highest international level and to make a positive contribution to the economy and society.

Our Center for Health & Bioresources located in Vienna invites applications for a PhD Thesis. In the Center for Health & Bioresources we aim to solve challenges associated with demographic change, resource scarcity and environmental pollution and to develop innovative solutions, that enable early disease detection and support healthy and active aging.

The PhD project is embedded in an EU project that aims at providing more predictive and more ethical tools for addressing regulatory relevant questions and supporting implementation of the REACH and CLP regulations. It will furthermore provide approaches to reshape and align the overall strategy of testing and validation of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) with future regulation (e.g., REACH 2.0) reducing the need of animal testing.


  • Your work will contribute to increase the level of consumer and environmental safety
  • You standardize blood-brain barrier in vitro models for toxicity assessment.
  • You elucidate alterations in blood-brain barrier functionality after chemical treatments.
  • You participate in inter-laboratory and transferability studies of several in vitro NAMs.
  • You combine high-throughput screening methods and cutting-edge cell culture based on cell lines and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) to evaluate multicellular models in different set-ups (spheroids, Transwells)
  • You implement novel methods to study the relevance of the cellular microenvironment (incl. astrocytes, pericytes, neurons) on pharmacokinetics and toxicity outcomes.
  • You study the transport of small molecules and nanoparticles in 2D and 3D in vitro models.
  • You unravel changes at the blood-brain barrier in vitro, discover biomarkers and develop novel multi-target omics-methods to measure these biomarkers.
  • You will learn how to evaluate the results and prepare them for further studies.
  • You support and supervise master’s students in the lab, write conference contributions and publish results in leading scientific journals
  • You are integrated in an interdisciplinary team evaluating in silico/in vitro/in vivo correlations.
  • You will gain experience in a group of international scientists and build up your professional network.

Your qualifications as an Ingenious Partner:

  • MSc. in life sciences, e.g., molecular biology, molecular medicine, biotechnology, neurosciences, pharmaceutical sciences, or a related field
  • Experimental skills in cell culture (preferentially endothelial, epithelial, hiPS cells, fibroblasts), protein chemistry and molecular biology
  • Strong sense for responsibility and team spirit
  • Excellent communication skills in English


  • Duration of the PhD project: 3 years
  • Start date: ideally 1.3.2024 – However, there is some flexibility concerning the start-date

What to expect:
EUR 34,507- gross per year, for 30 h / week. In addition to numerous events, seminars and networking opportunities, there will be additional company benefits. As a research institution, we are familiar with the supervision and execution of PhD theses, and we are looking forward to supporting you accordingly!
At AIT diversity and inclusion are of great importance. This is why we strive to inspire women to join our teams in the field of technology. We welcome applications from women, who will be given preference in case of equal qualifications after taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances of all applications.

Please submit your documents including your CV, cover letter (ideally one, max. two pages, including a brief introduction of yourself, an explanation how your previous studies and experience have prepared you for this PhD position, and a motivation why you are interested in this specific position) and your certificates (Transcript of records) online:
Optionally add full contact data of relevant references (we will not contact references without your consent).

For further information please contact:
Prof. Dr. Winfried Neuhaus,


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PhD Thesis “Human Blood-brain Barrier in Vitro Models for Regulatory Use”
Giefinggasse 4 Vienna, Austria
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