Ph.D. position: biochemist, molecular biologist or biophysicist - Bonn, Germany

The center of advanced european studies and research (caesar) in Bonn, Germany, is an asso-ciated Institute of the Max Planck Society, one of Europe's leading basic research organizations. About 80 Max Planck Institutes conduct basic research and are involved in more than 2,000 co-operations with nearly 6,000 partners in over 100 countries.

For a project on

"Uncovering ligand-binding induced structural changes
in membrane proteins using cryo-electron microscopy"

the group “Structural Dynamics of Proteins” of Dr. Elmar Behrmann, in close cooperation with the Department “Molecular Sensory Systems” of Prof. Dr. U. Benjamin Kaupp offers, starting January 1st 2015 or later, a

Ph.D. position
(biochemist, molecular biologist, or biophysicist)

Project description
Lipid membranes are crucial for life as they are the boundaries allowing cells to separate self from non-self. Without them all nutrients and metabolites would simply dissipate, and the spark of life be extinguished. Still, cells need to be able to interact with their environment and/or their neighbors. Consequently, cells have evolved an intricate protein machinery allowing controlled transport of substances through their membranous boundaries.

Owing to recent technical advances, electron microscopy offers the potential to elucidate the struc-ture of membrane proteins at near-atomic resolution. In combination with specialized lipid-scaffolds that faithfully mimic native lipid environments, electron microscopy thus offers the prospect of studying the reaction of membrane proteins to chemical cues, furthering our understanding of ligand-binding induced structural changes and thus protein function and dysfunction.

The Ph.D. candidate will have the opportunity to participate in uncovering structural changes in membrane proteins using cryo-electron microscopy. Responsibilities will include expressing and isolating the membrane protein to be studied, its transfer into defined lipid structures, and structure determination by high-resolution electron microscopy. While prior experience in working with mem-brane proteins and/or electron microscopy is a benefit, it is not a strict requirement. However, strong skills in protein expression and purification are a prerequisite. Moreover, we are looking for a self-motivated candidate, who is able and willing to learn new techniques, not afraid of working with computers and high-end microscopes, and able to recognize and tackle problems in an independent manner.
You will work in a young and dynamic environment, embedded in the scientific community of the Max Planck Society and the universities of Bonn and Cologne. Caesar offers a family friendly and international atmosphere, and supports individual development with a set of trainings and seminars. Caesar provides a very modern infrastructure (including access to state-of-the-art electron microscopes) in an attractive building located in the park of the Rheinaue.
Please submit your complete application directly at our online job portal until 8th December 2014
http://www.caesar.de/jobs-phd.html

For further information and inquiries please visit www.behrmann-lab.de.
Caesar is certified according to the audit berufundfamilie.

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