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  PhD position (f/m/d) in Biophotonics / molecular Biophysics

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  Dr Katja Zieske  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The research group of Dr. Katja Zieske invites applications for a

PhD position (f/m/d)

for the project

Single-Molecule Characterization of Protein Organization at Model Membranes

  • Assembling a single molecule imaging system in our group
  • Biophotonic characterization of fluorescent proteins at lipid membranes
  • Image analysis of single molecule dynamics
  • Learn about model membranes and reconstitution of purified proteins in our group

About us:

The Zieske group is an independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. We are an interdisciplinary research team with projects in the area of biophysics and synthetic biology. Our research group is dedicated to exploring two fundamental questions: (1)  Emergence of Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Multicellular Systems: How do spatial and temporal patterns arise in multicellular systems through cellular interactions and interplay between cells and their extracellular environment? Employing a bottom-up approach, our interest lies in mimicking and reconstructing multicellular structures from the scratch. (2) Control and Emergence of Spatial Patterns and Forces at Lipid Membrane Interfaces?  How can spatial patterns and forces be orchestrated and controlled at lipid membrane interfaces? Our methodology involves synthetic lipid membranes, purified proteins and optical technologies to reconstitute and understand mechanisms governing membrane protein organization.

PhD students will conduct and analyze experiments, write scientific publications and present research results at scientific meetings. Access to the following technologies is available:

  • Confocal microscopy and epifluorescence microscopy
  • Optical table for custom build setup
  • Wet lab for biological sample preparation
  • Instruments for protein purification (e.g. chromatography system)
  • Diverse model membrane systems (e.g. supported lipid membranes, giant unilamellar vesicles, phase separating membranes)
  • Microfluidic technologies (Pressure system to operate microfluidic devices, access to Cleanroom for micro- and nanofabrication,

Currently, we are looking for a highly motivated PhD student with experience in optics, biophysics, biophotonics or single-molecule microscopy. The successful candidates will conduct an interdisciplinary research program and support the following research "Control and Emergence of Spatial Patterns and Forces at Lipid Membrane Interfaces" of the Zieske group with single molecule measurements of proteins at lipid membranes.

This position offers you the opportunity of unravelling fundamental rules of complex biological organization on the scale of protein assemblies using a physics perspective.

The project duration for PhD students is 3 years. The working language is English.

Qualification of PhD applicants:

The successful candidate has a background in optics, biophysics, biophotonics or microscopy or a related field and obtained his/her master degree within the last 2 years with good grades (or is about to obtain a master degree in 2024). We are seeking proactive team members who possess a strong scientific aptitude and the ability to effectively articulate their interest in specific scientific research areas through a compelling motivation letter. Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in interdisciplinary research, particularly at the intersection of quantitative science, life science and microscopy. Moreover, candidates are expected to have hands-on experience in experimental work with optical systems or microscopes. The ability to take responsibility over an independent project is a crucial aspect of this position, reflecting the capacity for autonomy and project management. International experience or mobility, coupled with relevant research experience gained through internships or thesis work would be considered advantageous. We welcome candidates who are not only driven by academic curiosity but also possess the skills and initiative to contribute actively to our interdisciplinary research environment.

Experimental experience in one or several of the following areas would be advantageous:

  • Single molecule tracking experiments or single molecule spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Image analysis / analysis of single molecule data
  • Previous experience with biological samples, such as proteins or lipid membrane models (e.g. GUVs or supported lipid membranes)

Interested in joining our team?

Submit your application to [Email Address Removed]. The application material should include:

1) your preferred research area(s)

2) motivation letter

3) CV

4) university certificates and academic records

5) short abstracts of Bachelor and Master thesis

6) Highschool certificate or comparable certificate which qualifies you for entering university (if available)

7) 2 letters of recommendation (please ask your reviewers to directly send them as pdf files to [Email Address Removed])

8) proof of proficiency in English (if available)

The Max Planck Society strives to ensure a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities irrespective of gender, nationality or disabilities of the applicants. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

Biological Sciences (4) Physics (29)

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 About the Project