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PhD in Chemical Biology -- Neuropeptide Research -- University of Vienna

Institute of Biological Chemistry

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Prof Markus Muttenthaler Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Neuropeptides are key mediators in many biological functions and understanding their interaction with target proteins is fundamental to unravel the underlying mechanism of diseases. Over the years, an increasing number of bioactive peptides from animals, plants, and bacteria have been characterised, with the overwhelming realisation that these molecules often show better therapeutic performance than their human counterparts, particularly in terms of in vivo stability.

Our main research efforts situated in this area of Chemical Biology focus on the exploration and translation of these vast and untapped natural libraries towards the development of useful research tools and therapeutics. Solid phase peptide synthesis, the main tool to access these compounds, is a powerful technology for the assembly and chemical modification of these highly chiral and structurally complex peptides. We then use these ligands to develop advanced molecular probes and therapeutic leads to address important questions of unmet medical need. This project combines bioinformatics, peptide chemistry, medicinal chemistry, structure-activity relationship studies, and molecular pharmacology to discover, design and synthesise advanced molecular probes that will facilitate the study of these intriguing neuropeptide signalling systems, with applications in long-term memory formation, gastrointestinal disorders, pain, diabetes and cancer.

Strong chemistry or pharmacology background
First Class Honours Degree or Master Degree in related field
Good hands-on laboratory skills
Strong ambition and work ethics

Solid phase peptide synthesis; organic and medicinal chemistry; mass spectrometry, peptide and protein purification techniques; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, circular dichroism; recombinant protein expression, cell culture and pharmacological assays; various bioassays, proteomics and transcriptomics, peptide drug development; bioinformatics;

If interested, please send your CV, grade transcripts and a short cover letter directly to [Email Address Removed]. Further details can be found at:

Open to new ideas. Since 1365. The University of Vienna (15 faculties, 4 centres, >150 fields of study, ~9,500 members of staff, >90,000 students) is a research university with high international visibility and a wide range of degree programs. The University of Vienna is committed to fundamental and applied research, research-led teaching, career development for young researchers and to a dialogue with economy and society. Appointments of high quality researchers is an important strategy of the University of Vienna to contribute to the education of future generations and to the society’s ability to innovate.

The Department of Chemistry with its young and diverse faculty offers a highly attractive environment for young researchers from around the world starting at the level of PhD students and postdocs towards junior group leaders that establish their own research field here. It is one of the largest postgraduate training centres in Austria and this highly intellectual and well-equipped environment is complemented by strong career development programs of the University of Vienna and other research organisations in Vienna.

The advertised position will be part of Neuropeptide Research Group at the Institute of Biological Chemistry. The Institute of Biological Chemistry is a centre for peptide and protein chemistry established in 2011. It is part of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Vienna with a strong link to the Medical University of Vienna (Centre for Physiology and Pharmacology), the Max F. Perutz Laboratories with their focus on Molecular and Structural Biology, and the Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology. Together these departments form an outstanding environment for research at the interface of synthetic chemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology and medicine.

Funding Notes

Both Austrians and international applicants are welcome to apply. Candidates should have a First Class Honours Degree or Master Degree (or equivalent) in the fields of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacology or a related discipline. Strong academic performance, grades, good oral and written communication skills, and published output will be additional assessment criteria.


Key Publications can be found here:

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