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Second messenger oscillations of cAMP and calcium control biological clocks

   Graduate School Multiscale Clocks

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  Prof Friedrich Herberg  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°. 8) the PhD candidate will employ methods in biochemistry and biophysics including recombinant expression of proteins, biochemical characterization of enzymes, interaction studies between proteins with state of the art methods like surface plasmon resonance, in cell interaction based on bioluminescence, as well as with Ca2+ and cAMP imaging.

We want to investigate the temporal-spatial control of the second messengers cAMP and Ca2+, where oscillations of cAMP and Ca2+ are coupled in amplitude and frequency by their synthesizing or degrading enzymes. We will examine whether intracellular signaling via cAMP and Ca2+ occurs at characteristically different time scales to resonate with environmental rhythms controlling behavioral/physiological rhythms. cAMP and Ca2+ concentrations are monitored in cells upon stimulation with zeitgeber signals or coupling factors while assessing the role of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA) as a master controller.


- 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 respectively related academic degrees (such as Diploma or Magister) in biology, biochemistry, cell biology, biophysics, nanostructure and related fields

- 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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