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PhD Position (E13/65%) available in the Oekten Group (Biophysics Department, TUM)Posted by: Technische Universität München
Posted date: Jan-12-2016
Molecular mechanisms of Intraflagellar Transport
Cilia are microtubule-based protrusions of the plasma membrane found on many eukaryotic cells, including most cell types of the human body. Whereas the functions of motile cilia (e.g. on sperm cells) were immediately obvious, the role of the immotile or so-called primary cilia remained largely unrecognized for many decades. Once referred to as aberrant solitary cilia with no obvious function, these ancient structures now hold the promise of revealing no less than the secrets of multicellularity and development. Even though the importance of primary cilia is now evident, molecular mechanisms underlying their assembly and function are far from being understood. The construction and maintenance of cilia relies on an ancient and universally conserved mechanism termed IntraFlagellar Transport (IFT). IFT requires a multi-subunit, non-membranous protein complex assembled from more than 20 distinct subunits. At the heart of IFT are the microtubule-associated motors, -kinesin and dynein- that continuously ferry cargo in a bidirectional fashion needed for ciliary assembly and function in vivo. The project will deal with IFT complex assembly in a bottom-up approach in vitro using the nematode C. elegans as a model system. Employing biochemical and biophysical methods, the candidate will step-wise build and analyze the architecture of the complex as well as its motor protein-driven transport and regulation.
The Ökten group is based in Garching by Munich, Germany, and is part of the Biophysics Department of the Technische Universität München. The group is currently funded by ERC starting- and DFG grants and is part of the SFB863. For more information please refer to http://bio.ph.tum.de/home/dr-oekten/oekten-home.html.
Who you are:
You are someone with excellent scientific and organizational skills. You are fully committed to science, and enjoy testing and challenging your hypotheses. You have good communication skills, and you are proficient in oral and written English. Teamwork comes natural to you. We expect outstanding motivation, critical and analytical thinking and a strong scientific enthusiasm. You have a M.Sc. degree in a relevant field and a broad interest in mechanisms at the molecular level. A strong background in standard methods of molecular biology and protein biochemistry is essential. Experience in multi-protein complex production and characterization is an important advantage.
How to apply:
Please send your application and a list of references to oekten.applicationsph.tum.de. The application should include your university transcripts and your motivation for joining the group along with a short summary of your Diploma/Master Thesis. Deadline of the application is 29th February 2016.