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Opto-Mechanics of Single Enzyme Molecules

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Susanne Hennig
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Prof. Matthias Rief, Molecular biophysics E22, Physics Department, TU Munich

Single molecule methods allow to observe the conformational dynamics of individual molecules over extended time periods with subnm resolution. In our lab, we have developed high resolution optical tweezers that allow the manipulation of individual protein molecules. In this project, we like to combine single molecule mechanics with single molecule optical spectroscopy to observe force-induced binding events optically. In the first part, an existing optical tweezers setup will have to be modified and extended with single molecule fluorescence capability. In the second part of the project this setup will be used to study enzyme mechanics on the single molecule level.

Ideally, the successful candidate will have a background in experimental physics/biophysics or biochemistry and should not be afraid of an interdisciplinary project and environment. .

All candidates have to apply via CeNS’ online application tool. Other forms of application will not be accepted.


1. Bauer D., Merz D. R., Pelz B., Theisen K. E., Yacyshyn G., Mokranjac D., Dima R. I., Rief M., Zoldak G.: Nucleotides regulate the mechanical hierarchy between subdomains of the nucleotide binding domain of the Hsp70 chaperone DnaK. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 10389-10394

2. Zoldak G, Rief M: Force as a single molecule probe of multidimensional protein energy landscapes. Curr Opin Struct Biol 2013;1:48-57

3. Stigler J, Ziegler F, Gieseke A, Gebhardt JC, Rief M: The complex folding network of single calmodulin molecules. Science 2011;6055:512-516

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