University of Heidelberg

Open Positions

The group Genome Organization & Function at the BIOQUANT conducts several interdisciplinary research projects with funding by the Volkswagenstiftung and the DFG. We are looking for people (PhD or Masters/Diploma students) with background/interest in either Molecular/Cell Biology, Physics or Computer Science for quantitative studies on the relation between DNA organization in the nucleus via interaction with proteins (chromatin) and gene expression. Our current research activities are described on the Publications and Research pages.

As a group of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) we participate in the DKFZ International PhD Program, which offers 36 fellowships each year. Please feel free to contact us for further information on the DKFZ PhD program or other fellowship applications.

Molecular Biophysics

Start: anytime

Project: Quantitative/mechanistic analysis of chromatin related processes. Current research projects involve chromatin organization and dynamics in vitro and/or in vivo as well as the interaction of proteins with chromatin. Candidates should have a background in Physics and/or Molecular Biology. Interest in interdisciplinary work is expected. The research project focuses on the in vitro assembly and analysis of chromatin on the level of single nucleosomes and chromatin fibers. It involves the characterization of conformation changes in response to chromatin modifying factors like histone acetylation/methylation or chromatin remodeling by molecular motor complexes

Knowledge/interest in one or more of the following areas: Quantitative/mechanistic analysis of molecular biological processes, chromatin organization and dynamics, application of biophysical techniques

(1) In vitro assembly and analysis of chromatin on the level of single nucleosomes, multiple nucleosomes and chromatin fibers. Characterization of conformation changes in response to chromatin modifying factors like histone modifications, binding/dissociation of chromosomal proteins, chromatin remodeling by molecular motor complexes.

(2) Fluorescence spectroscopy (fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer)

(3) Scanning/atomic force microscopy to visualize the conformation of nucleosome comples at nm resolution.

(4) Analytical ultracentrifugation to determine the stoichiometry and hydrodynamic shape of protein-DNA complexes

Quantitative Cell Biology

Start: anytime

Project: Chromatin organization and dynamics in vivo. A special foucs is on the dynamics organization of chromosome telomeres in cancer cells. Candidates should have a background in Cell Biology and/or Physics for the in vivo analysis of cells. Interest in interdisciplinary work is expected. The research project involves measurements of the dynamics and the mobility of nuclear factors and their interactions in the nucleus by advanced fluorescence microscopy approaches.

Knowledge/interest in one or more of the following areas: Quantitative/mechanistic analysis of molecular biological processes, chromatin organization and dynamics

(1) Measurements of the dynamics and the mobility of nuclear factors and their interactions in the nucleus to obtain information on the in vivo regulation of gene expression in human cell lines. Fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy (fast confocal imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, single particle tracking)

(2) Construction of human and mouse cell lines with auto fluorescent proteins (GFP, YFP, mRFP1 etc.)

(3) Development of new fluorescence microscopy approaches and theoretical models to analyze the organisation and dynamics of DNA and other factors in the cell nucleus.

Computer simulations/Modeling/Biocomputing

Start: anytime

Projects: Quantitative/mechanistic analysis of chromatin related processes by computer simulation and bioinformatics approaches. Candidates should have a background in either Physics or Computer Sciences. Interest in interdisciplinary work is expected. The research project could involve the following topics: Modeling protein-DNA complexes and chromatin fibers by force field calculations, molecular dyanmics, Monte Carlo procedures and analytical descriptions. The aim is to model chromatin structure and dynamics at different scales to explain its role in regulating gene expression. Results from the modeling work will be tested and developed against experimental data from scanning force microscopy and force spectroscopy experiments. Predictions will be made on how biological factors would have to interact with the chromatin to exert their function.

Knowledge/interest in one or more of the following areas: Numerical simulations, quantitative/mechanistic analysis of molecular biological processes

(1) Physics of macromolecular interactions and dynamics, structure/dynamics of large protein-DNA complexes and regulation of gene expression

(2) Numerical simulations, C++ programming under Unix

(3) Monte Carlo, Browninan Dynmaics, Molecular mechanics/dynamics

PhD fellowships

DKFZ International PhD Program http://www.dkfz-heidelberg.de/en/phd-program/

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds http://www.bifonds.de/

Schering Stiftung http://www.schering-stiftung.de/

Fonds der Chemischen Industrie http://fonds.vci.de/

Daimler Benz Stiftung http://www.daimler-benz-stiftung.de/home/fellowship/en/start.html

Post-doc fellowships

AvH http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/

Contact: E-Mail (Last update: 19/01/2010)