What we do


We are fully aware that each PhD student starts with a different scientific background. In order to bring you all on the same level of knowledge, our curriculum starts with a mandatory lecture series that introduce you to all LOCOTACT-relevant topics.

The lectures have taken place as interactive seminars via Zoom between January and July 2021. They have been recorded so that everyone who joins our consortium at a later time point can easily catch up in order to aquire a basic knowledge in thyroid hormone (TH) physiology and signaling as well aspects of cardiovascular, brain and liver research.

See here our lecture plan to get a deeper insight into the topics. Please feel free to contact the respective lecturer if you have any questions.

Locotact iRTG - Lectures


DateTopicLecturer (PI)
15.01.21 Regulation of thyroid function Möller
22.01.21 Tancycytes within the endocrine axes Müller-Fielitz
05.02.21 TH receptor signalling - canonical Mittag
12.02.21 TH receptor signalling - noncanonical Möller
19.02.21 TH transporters - biochemistry Zwanziger
26.02.21 Phenotype of TH transporter deficient mice Heuer
05.03.21 Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome (AHDS) Heuer
12.03.21 Novel concepts for the treatment of AHDS Müller
19.03.21 How to determine TH concentrations Köhrle
26.03.21 Relevance and action of TH metabolites Köhrle
16.04.21 TH deiodinases - biochemistry Schomburg
29.04.21 Phenotype of deiodinase deficient mice (4 pm) Wirth
30.04.21 Clinical aspects of TH action in the human organism Führer
07.05.21 Patients ́ derived iPSCs modelling human diseases Kühnen
21.05.21 Epigenetic mechanisms regulating TH signaling Kirchner
28.05.21 Circadian mechanisms Oster
  LOCOTACT RETREAT: 03.-05.06.21  
11.06.21 Ischaemic brain injury Langhauser
02.07.21 Acute and chronic liver failures Lange
09.07.21 Research Data Management & Open Science Rehwald
  Experimental myocardial infarct & heart failure models Lorenz


These monthly seminars take place via Zoom and are divided into two parts:

Journal Club: One recently published paper is presented by one of our iRTG fellows. This will not only help you to be ‘up to date’ with current literature about your research field but you will also learn to critically review publications and transfer this critical thinking to your own projects.

Progress Report: Two iRTG fellows will provide progress reports about their doctoral thesis including an introduction into the topic and methodology. Like this, you can train your presentation skills, receive feedback to your project and exchange information between LOCOTACT researchers at different locotations and in different projects.

iRTG CRC/TR 296 Scientific Seminar: Journal Club and Progress Report 

Schedule Scientific Seminar 08/2021 - 07/2022

Schedule Scientific Seminar 08/2022 - 07/2023

DateJournal Club or
Postdoc Update
Report I
Report II
25.08.23 Julia Maier Jonas Rotter Stefanie Dörr Yingfu Chen & Nuria López Alcántara
01.09.23 Erick Martínez Rajas Sane Phlippa Spangenberg Lisa Ständer & Nina Häting
22.09.23 Boyka Markova Alison-Michelle Naujack Androniki Alevyzaki Beke Kolms & Kamil Demircan
06.10.23 Phlippa Spangenberg Andrea Alcaide Martín Larissa Anthofer Malte Konrad & Audrey Bresser
20.10.23 Susanne Grund Julia Maier Devon Siemes Eugenio Graceffo & Coanstance Kienle
03.11.23 Stefanie Dörr Daniel Ullrich Christina Wenzek (PostDoc) Jonas Rotter & Julia Maier
17.11.23 Jonas Rotter Jakob Gloge (JC) Leonardo de Assis (PostDoc) Tobias Bolte & Andrea Alcaide Martín
01.03.24 Devon Siemes Eugenio Graceffo Riccardo Dore (PostDoc) Joshua-Joel Richter & Philippa Spangenberg
15.03.24 Larissa Anthofer Beke Kolms Manuela Kowalczyk (PostDoc) Ahlem Guizani & Caroline Frädrich
19.04.24 Joshua-Joel Richter Kamil Demircan Katarzyna Ludwik (PostDoc) Larissa Anthofer & Maura Klose
03.05.24 Tobias Bolte Malte Konrad Sabrina Asaad Anna Molenaar & Joshua Seifert
17.05.24 Elena Schmaler Constance Kienle Miriam Sommer (PostDoc) Devon Siemes & Adriana Arrulo Pereira


The iRTG closely collaborates with the local graduate schools at the different CRC locations to offer the maximal variety and flexibility of workshops and soft-skill courses. As many courses are currently conducted digitally, it is in most cases also possible to attend courses at other CRC locations.

All iRTG members who work in projects conducting experiments with lab animals, will have the possibility to obtain a FELASA B certificate in a combined theoretical and practical workshop. Please contact the iRTG coordination if you need further information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Moreover, we also organize customized closed workshops. For example:

  • GraphPad Prism Statistics Workshop
  • Basic German Course 
  • Scientific Writing Workshop
  • Editing, Processing and Analysis of Scientific Images
  • Time- and Project-Management for PhD Candidates
  • Clarity in Scientific Writing for Clinician Scientists & PostDocs
  • Advanced Image Analysis and Macro Scripting


Working in a CRC/TR means that our iRTG members are spreaded over the whole country. Nevertheless, it is important to be part of a team of fellows who go through the same phases of a doctoral project as you do.

"What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team." – Benjamin Franklin

Therefore, we meet as often as possible with the whole group to strengthen the group dynamics, to exchange ideas and challenges and to have some fun time! 

For example, in November 2021 we met in person for a Scientific Writing Workshop. In the evening, we had the nice opportunity to visit Münster's Christmas Market and enjoyed some tasty Glühwein. And in 2022 all iRTG fellows could explore Münster during a City Game just before the start of our annual retreat.

Who we are

iRTG Fellows

Currently, 39 graduate students are enrolled in our iRTG at different locations - among them:

8 PhDs and 3 MDs in Essen

5 PhDs and 3 MDs in Lübeck

6 PhDs and 8 MDs in Berlin

1 PhD in Dortmund

3 PhDs in Munich

1 PhD and 1 MD in Leipzig

All PostDocs working in CRC projects are encouraged to join iRTG lectures, seminars and workshops.

Student representatives

Anna Molenaar: PhD student at Helmholtz Munich in the group Neurobiology of Diabetes.

I studied molecular Biotechnology in Freising and I now work on the topic of MCT8 deficiency as a part of project P05. As iRTG speaker I want to make sure that the graduate students stay connected across the various sites that are part of the CRC.

Joshua Seifert: PhD student with a passion for modeling livers in the petri dish to wring some mystery out of pathological lipid metabolism.

I love being versatile, so when I'm not busy cloning and optimizing assays in molecular biology, I'm cheering on my cell cultures and have a soft spot for biomedical data analysis.

Speaker Team

Heike Heuer: Speaker at UDE, Professor for Molecular Thyroidology

Helge Müller-Fielitz: Co-Speaker at UzL, Group Leader - Interaction between Tanycytes and the Hormone Axes

Peter Kühnen: Co-Speaker at Charité, Professor for Experimental Pediatric Endocrinology


Simone de Leve: Scientific Coordinator of the integrated Research Training Group

I am happy to help with any questions regarding our iRTG curriculum and to assist with any kind of problems that arise during your journey to a successful graduation. I am keen to receive feedback to improve our curriculum and activities to ensure optimal scientific conditions for everyone.


irtg logo

Integrated Research Training Group

Prof. Dr. Heike Heuer (Speaker at UDE)

Dr. Helge Müller-Fielitz (Co-Speaker at UzL)

Prof Dr. med. Peter Kühnen (Co-Speaker at Charité)

Our integrated Research Training Group (iRTG) programme aims to provide PhD students, as well as associated MD students and postdocs enrolled in CRC/TR 296 projects with an excellent scientific training and most supportive environment for a successful career in basic and translational thyroid/endocrine research at interfaces with neurology, cardiology and hepatology, giving rise to the next generation of successful endocrine researchers.

Detailed information on our iRTG curriculum can be found here.

flow diagram

The iRTG offers a highly interdisciplinary curriculum at the interface between clinical and basic research

  • to foster the development of young researchers (PhD students & MD students, early career postdocs) to highly qualified and excellent scientists
  • to provide a strong basic and translational education in local control mechanisms of TH action

in close interaction with local graduate schools:

How to apply

Interested in joining our iRTG? Open positions are listed here. Necessary documents for application are: 

1. Please send application form, CV and degree certificates via E-Mail as a single pdf-file to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 2. Please download the

and send it to your two references; please kindly ask them to e-mail the form directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.