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Role of TOR and tRNA mediated translational regulation as coupling factor between multiscale clocks

   Graduate School Multiscale Clocks

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  Prof Raffael Schaffrath, Dr Roland Klassen  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The RTG Multiscale Clocks aims at investigating the principles of timekeeping in living organisms, enabling to orchestrate periodic processes with very different frequencies ranging from infradian over circadian to ultradian rhythms. The unique approach is to combine the expertise of biologists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, and engineers to advance the understanding of biological clocks.

In this project (N°.2) the PhD candidate will follow a yeast genetics-based approach to study the role of chemical modifications of transfer RNAs in the regulation of different biological clocks, including the replicative cell division cycle and chronological life span. A central evolutionary conserved protein kinase complex termed TOR (target of rapamycin) coordinates several distinct cellular responses to nutrient availability. This includes the regulation of translation and the control of cellular lifespan and cell cycle commitment. Intriguingly, defective tRNA modification in yeast leads to disturbed TOR signaling on the one hand and uncoupling of cellular oscillators on the other, suggesting an ill-defined role of tRNA modification in the synchronization of biological clocks at multiple time scales. The mechanism how tRNA modification is involved in the coupling between these different oscillators remains to be established and represents a major aim of the project.


- Scientific work on the research project.

- Active participation in the workshops and events of the RTG and collaboration with the PIs and other PhD candidates.

- Completion of a study program according to the curriculum of the graduate school.

Required Profile:

- Excellent Master degree or other related academic degrees (such as Diploma or Magister) in Biology, Biochemstry or similar study programs.

- Commitment to interdisciplinary research and education.

- Strong skills in English.

- Advantageous are experiences thematically related to the scope of the RTG.

The University of Kassel is a midsize university with about 25.000 students, located in the city of Kassel, known for the DOCUMENTA, the most important international exhibition of contemporary art. The university is dedicated to interdisciplinary research, and it offers educational programs in the life sciences, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, education, and engineering. The university also offers different employment benefits, such as free public transport and no tuition. Furthermore, housing in Kassel is affordable.

Please send your application with the usual informative documents, stating the reference number in the subject line, via the online form.

Include the Extra Application Form.

Funding Notes

The University of Kassel establishes the interdisciplinary Research Training Group (RTG) “Biological Clocks on Multiple Time Scales”, which is funded by the German Research foundation from April 2022 on. The positions according to the pay scale EG 13 TV-H modified according to the requirements of the different disciplines are limited to 36 months.
- Date of Hire: 01 Apr 2022
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