The EU-funded Innovative Training Network FIDELIO (https://www.fidelio-project.eu) aims to
train the next generation of scientists in order to tackle the challenges of diabetic bone
disease from various angles and with the newest technologies available. Interdisciplinary
training and implementation of innovative approaches are key. Within this consortium, we will
comprehensively unravel the genetic and environmental mechanisms that contribute to bone
fragility in diabetes, identify predictors and clinical markers for patient stratification, decipher
the underlying molecular mechanisms of bone fragility in diabetes, and establish potential
interventions through a personalised medicine approach.
The research programme will address different aspects of diabetic bone disease from the
viewpoints of epidemiology, genetics, miRNAs, microbiome, bone biology, bone
biomechanics and microstructure, preclinical and clinical research. It will utilise advanced
imaging and computational approaches, diabetes mouse models and access to clinical
cohorts and registry data to obtain a comprehensive overview of how these mechanisms
combine in diabetes to cause increased fracture risk.
With this interdisciplinary approach, we can explore the impact of biological pathways in
mouse models and/or humans, and interactions with diet, exercise and other exposures.
Collaborations with industry will allow early identification of IP, access to state of the art
technologies, and will complement the academic ESR training programme with
entrepreneurship and industrial mentoring.
About the host organization
The Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is one of Europe s most modern
clinics. Here specialists from all fields of medicine and life sciences are brought together
under one roof. State-of-the-art medical technology, innovative information technology, and
architecture created with the provision of medical care at the forefront, all with the aim of
optimally supporting doctors, nursing staff, and therapists. With a strong focus on research,
ideal conditions for the interlinkage between modern medicine, translational research, and
teaching are found at the UKE. More than 11,000 employees work around the clock with the
singular aim of providing the best medical care to our patients. Webpage:
The Heisenberg Research Group (Busse lab) at the Department of Osteology and
Biomechanics focusses on bone quality assessment. Basic, translational and clinical
research is performed on multiple aspects of musculoskeletal health. Webpage:
The Busse lab has expertise in osteoporosis, musculoskeletal disorders, bone matrix
quality analysis, high-resolution imaging and biomechanical testing. The group consists
of an international, multidisciplinary team with backgrounds in the fields of biology, chemistry,
physics, medicine, bioengineering and computational analysis all working together to address
key questions in musculoskeletal health.
Your PhD project:
The candidate will focus on bone strength in diabetic bone with the help of computational
models. The project will involve the following tasks: i) investigate how microdamage, crosslinking
and bone porosity affect bone quality in diabetes. Therefore, the ESR will work on
biomechanical testing as well as micro-CT imaging of bone specimens. ii) The candidate will
work on the development of a micro-FE model incorporating matrix properties to predict
fracture risk in diabetic bone. Therefore, the candidate will also focus on data obtainment
from murine diabetes models (collaboration with the University of Dresden, Germany). iii)
The candidate will work on the development of a qCT-based FE model incorporating crucial
bone quality factors utilizing data from human diabetic cohorts and age-matched controls in
order to build and validate clinical FE models.
You will embark on secondments to other FIDELIO partners (SCANCO (CH), ETH (CH), IBM
(CH); UCBM (IT) or SDU (DK)) to access experimental models and tools or receive additional
training from experts in the field. This will include a focus on computational models and
methods, high-resolution image processing and micro-FE modelling. Further, code
optimisation and/or acceleration of computation as well as testing FE models using
prospective or retrospective fracture data. Total secondment time is 5 months.
Benefits of working in an ITN:
– You will be working within our international, interdisciplinary team of >30 researchers
with experience in a broad range of sciences.
– You will get in contact with the other members of this international consortium and will
benefit from the joint training platform to develop skills necessary for developing a
thorough understanding of the mechanisms of diabetes and the bone metabolism and
for obtaining industry skills.
Profile and requirements
- Applicants must hold an MSc or equivalent in the field of biomedical engineering,
biomechanical engineering, bioinformatics, computer sciences or a related program
Applicants must have knowledge and/or experience in finite element modelling
Willingness to work with bone specimens from animals and humans is a prerequisite
- Applicants can be of any nationality
- Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and
spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the
- Applicants must be eligible to enroll on a PhD program at the host institution (or a
designated university in case the host institution is a non-academic organization)
H2020 MSCA Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main
activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization (Germany) for more than
12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national
service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining
refugee status are not taken into account.
Eligible researchers must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately
prior to the date of selection in the same appointing international organisation.
H2020 MSCA eligibility criteria: Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) must, at the date of
recruitment by the host organization, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research
experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-
Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher
obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which
the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a
doctorate was never started or envisaged).
- You will be employed by the host organization for 36 months (with the option of an
extension of the employment later on).
- A competitive salary plus allowances. Moreover, funding is available for technical and
personal skills training and participation in international research events.
- You will benefit from the designed training program offered by the host organization and
- You will participate in international conferences and secondments to other organizations
within the FIDELIO network and in outreach activities targeted at a wide audience
Please find additional information in the Information package for Marie Curie fellows
Interested candidates are invited to apply online at https://www.fidelio-project.eu/contact/.
Expected start date: August 2021
More information can be found on https://www.fidelio-project.eu
We in the FIDELIO consortium value diversity and we commit to equal treatment of all
applicants irrespective of gender, sexuality, health status as well as social, cultural or
For additional information about the research project and this individual position, please
Prof. Dr. rer. medic. Bj rn Busse