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High-resolution proteomics of peroxisome-centred membrane contact site (MCS) and transporters

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, February 17, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The PERICO research programme aims to uncover how a central metabolic organelle, the peroxisome, participates in controlling cellular metabolism. Metabolism and metabolic control are emerging as important frontiers in physiology. This is because, in our rapidly changing world, we face the effects of both metabolic extremes – from obesity on the one hand to malnutrition on the other. Learning how to control energy metabolism is therefore one of the most pressing challenges of the 21stcentury.

Peroxisomes are key metabolic organelles, which must communicate and interact extensively with their environment to exchange metabolites and coordinate cellular responses. Membrane contact sites (MCS), where membranes of two organelles are physically tethered to enable rapid transfer of small molecules, enable organelle communication and are crucial for coordination of cellular functions and hence human health. Research on organelle interactions and communication is a challenging, upcoming field in current cell biology.

PERICO will exploit recent developments in high-throughput and genome-wide screening technologies, combine these with modern molecular cell biology and systems biology and ultimately translate the data into new leads for drug discovery and therapy.

Early Stage Researchers

The training schemes include specific research projects, secondments to partner organizations, a wide range of dedicated courses, and workshops organized by the academic and industrial partners of the Network. The scientific training programme will be complemented with training in managerial soft skills.

The positions for Early Stage Researchers are available for candidates with a research experience ≤ 4 years (counted from the diploma that gives the rights to embark in a doctoral degree).

Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment (short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account).


Candidates should have:
• exceptional academic performance, including qualifications, prizes
• subject specific skills and expertise (see project descriptions)
• communication, presentation skills and team working abilities
• competence in written and spoken English.

Length of appointment: 3 years
Type of contract: temporary
Starting date: April 1, 2019
Applicants can apply for multiple positions.

Reference: ESR9-DE

A PhD position is available at the University of Freiburg, Department of Biochemistry & Functional Proteomics, Freiburg, Germany

Project title: High-resolution proteomics of peroxisome-centred membrane contact site (MCS) and transporters

• Definition of the peroxisomal membrane proteome of yeast, human/mammalian cells, and trypanosomes using high-resolution quantitative mass spectrometry (MS) to identify putative new transporters.
• Screen for novel membrane contact site (MCS) proteins in yeast using artificial protein tethers, quantitative MS, and computational data analysis.
• Interactomics and proximity proteomic studies of key proteins forming MCS in different organisms and/or under different growth conditions.
• Global loss-of-function studies of peroxisome-deficient yeast cells and cells with non-functional MCS and transporters and analysis of the cellular response to the lack of peroxisomes and impaired MCS/transporters by quantitative MS-based proteome studies.
• Computation of an MCS interaction and cellular response network integrating the results obtained and published data (icw LG).
• Computational integration of proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics data from peroxisome-deficient cells and cells with non-functional MCS/transporters (icw LG).

Location: Freiburg, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. B. Warscheid (
Co-supervisors: Prof. Dr. V. Martins dos Santos, Lifeglimmer GmbH & Prof. Dr. M. Schuldiner, Weizmann Institute of Science
Planned secondments: University of Groningen, Weizmann Institute of Science. Lifeglimmer GmbH
Required subject specific skills and expertise: a master’s degree in biology, biochemistry or a related discipline. Experience in proteomics/mass spectrometry and a strong interest in bioinformatics are advantageous but not mandatory.
Application deadline: 17/02/2017
Starting date: April 1, 2019

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