Supervisor: assoc. prof. Marek Mráz


We are looking for a motivated PhD student that would like to work on the following project funded by the ERC (European Research Council) Starting grant. Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a type of blood cancer which originates from B-lymphocytes, and it is the most common type of indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The clinical course of FL patients can be surprisingly variable (survival from months to decades) and FL still remains incurable. The course of the disease is characterized by repeated relapses leading to the evolution of resistant disease or to the high-grade transformation to a more aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This is associated with remarkably poor prognosis and high risk of early death.

Number of studies showed that multiple genetic lesions are associated with FL transformation (tFL), however, precise molecular mechanisms underlying this process is largely unclear. Importantly, the role of long non-coding RNAs in this process is completely unknown. However, we have recently described the role of short-noncoding miRNAs roles in transformed FL (Musilova et al…Mraz, Blood, 2018). The aim of the project is to reveal the molecular mechanisms involving lncRNAs and/or miRNAs responsible for FL transformation. The primary samples collected before and after high-grade transformation will be analyzed on the level of protein-coding as well as non-coding genes (NGS with Illumina, preliminary data available). This will be followed by searching for function of tFL-associated lncRNAs. This will help to better understand the disease biology and possibly to identify novel molecular targets that could be used therapeutically.


  • Modern laboratories, project funded by the prestigious ERC grant = high risk and high gain, state-of-the-art instrument, stable funding, competitive scholarship
  • You will work in a team of young investigators that challenge some long standing problems in the field of hematology. We do basic science, but with the objective to help patients in the future (we have access to primary samples with hem. malignancies, and we suggest novel clinical trials)..


  • How to think and work independently as a scientist
  • Writing of abstracts and papers (and course in grant writing and presentation of data)
  • How to present data and will attend conferences to present your research
  • You will spend 1-2 months visit(s) in collaborating labs in Europe or US
  • Collaboration with experts in wet lab research and bioinformatics
  • Novel methods such as Next Generation Sequencing (Illumina) and genome editing (Crispr).
  • How to critically analyze scientific data (regular journal clubs)
  • Classical methods of molecular biology (e.g. immunoblotting, flow cytometry, qRT-PCR, cell cultures, cloning), and you will use our in vitro models for microenvironmental interactions, and artificial activation/inhibition signalling pathways to decipher the gene regulatory loops.
  • You can supervise bachelor and diploma students if interested


Motivated smart people that have the “drive” to work independently, but also willing to learn from other people in the lab and collaborate.
Candidates should have a master’s degree in Molecular biology, Biochemistry, or similar field and have deep interest in molecular biology and cancer cell biology.


To apply please contact the supervisor and submit a CV by email to: marek.mraz@email.cz and phd@ceitec.muni.cz (Subject: PhD School).
Information about the laboratory at: ceitec.cz/mrazlab; The PhD will start approx. Feb 2021


The research is funded by ERC grant, and will be conducted at CEITEC MASARYK UNIVERSITY (campus Bohunice). Our laboratory extensively collaborates with the University Hospital Brno in the same campus to obtain primary samples from patients. The campus provides a vibrant, multidisciplinary and highly collaborative scientific environment. The lab is located in Brno, the second-largest city in Czech Republic that has the biggest concentration of biomedical research in the region. Brno is one of the major cultural hubs, with a vibrant and lively atmosphere housing ~60.000 students. The city has a very good public transport and plenty of interesting places to visit within the reach of trains (within small distance of several major cities such as Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest) and close to international airports.

Keywords: Follicular lymphoma, FL, blood cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, B-cell lymphoma, non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, Next Generation Sequencing, NGS, Illumina, genome editing,Crispr, leukemia, DLBCL