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PhD Position in Cryo Electron Microscopy of Rhodopsin Cyclases

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Eukaryotic rhodopsin guanylyl cyclases (RhGC) and rhodopsin phosphodiesterases (RhPDE) combine a rhodopsin photoreceptor module with an enzymatic unit that catalyzes the conversion of cyclic nucleotides to the corresponding 5’-phosphate nucleotide or vice versa. Hence, they confer a light-induced catalytic function to cells, which has the potential to be widely exploited in optogenetic applications. The goal of this project is to determine the structure of fungal RhGC at high resolution.
We use single particle cryo electron microscopy in combination with other biophysical techniques to obtain structural snapshots of the complex enabling us to deduce its function. The successful applicant is expected to collect and analyze data, participate in the experimental design and method development, and to closely interact with our collaborators in in the UniSysCat cluster of excellence and in particular with the group of Prof. Peter Hegemann (HU Berlin). Techniques involved will include handling of multi protein complexes, high resolution imaging using cryo EM, image processing, 3D reconstruction and molecular modeling.
This position is suitable for a doctoral candidate with a university degree in biochemistry, structural biology, biotechnology, bioinformatics, physics or other related fields, and with a strong interest in structural biology and biophysical techniques. Computational skills or experience in statistical analysis are an advantage. Applicants should also have excellent technical skills, good interpersonal skills and the enthusiasm to apply and develop new techniques.
The PhD position is funded by the UniSyscat (Unifying Systems in catalysis; https://www.unisyscat.de/) cluster of excellence, bringing together chemists, biologists and engineers to advance basic research into applied processes. Potsdam University is located in the Berlin/Brandenburg research area. It is dedicated to excellent research and teaching, offering a stimulating environment, including open minded, ambitious young teams and state-of-the-art scientific training.

Funding Notes

The salary is determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost). The position is for 26.67 hours per week (66.67% of a full-time contract). This is a temporary position limited to a term of 42 months in accordance with Section 2.1 of the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG). There will be interviews from now on until the position has been filled. The University of Potsdam strives to maintain gender balance among its staff. Severely disabled applicants shall receive preference in case of equal qualifications. We expressly invite applications from people with migration backgrounds.

References

Scheib U, Stehfest K, Gee CE, Korschen HG, Fudim R, Oertner TG, Hegemann P (2015) The rhodopsin-guanylyl cyclase of the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii enables fast optical control of cGMP signaling. Science signaling 8 (389):rs8. doi:10.1126/scisignal.aab0611

Scheib U, Broser M, Constantin OM, Yang S, Gao S, Mukherjee S, Stehfest K, Nagel G, Gee CE, Hegemann P (2018) Rhodopsin-cyclases for photocontrol of cGMP/cAMP and 2.3 A structure of the adenylyl cyclase domain. Nature Communications 9 (1):2046. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04428-w

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