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Structural and biochemical analysis of inositol pyrophosphate signaling pathways

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Michael Hothorn
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD position, starting any time in 2019, in the group Prof. Michael Hothorn at University of Geneva ( The lab combines structural biology (X-ray protein crystallography, cryo electron microscopy) and quantitative biochemistry with genetics and cell biology to dissect novel signal transduction pathways required for plant growth and development. The successful candidate will investigate how inositol pyrophosphate signaling molecules involved in nutrient signaling interact with different plant signaling proteins and protein complexes. She/he will use state-of-the art molecular biology, protein biochemistry and structural biology techniques to characterize these interactions in molecular detail.

The candidate should have a first class degree in biochemistry or closely related subject and ideally prior experience in molecular biology and in protein biochemistry. A basic knowledge of protein expression and purification, quantitative biochemistry, and in protein crystallography or cryoEM would be highly appreciated.

Applications should be sent Prof. Michael Hothorn ([Email Address Removed]) as a single PDF document, containing a 2 page CV (including details on the final grade or the expected grades) and a motivational statement of up to 2 pages. Applicants should also include contact details of 2-3 academic referees.

Informal inquiries can be addressed by email to Prof. Michael Hothorn ([Email Address Removed]). More information can be found here:

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive an internally funded, full-time PhD contract for up to 5 years.


Zhu J, Lau K, Harmel RK, Puschmann R, Broger L, Dutta AK, Jessen HJ, Hothorn LA, Fiedler D, Hothorn M (2019) Two bifunctional inositol pyrophosphate kinases/phosphatases control plant phosphate homeostasis. bioRxiv doi:
Hohmann U, Nicolet J, Moretti A, Hothorn LA, Hothorn M (2018) The SERK3 elongated allele defines a role for BIR ectodomains in brassinosteroid signalling. Nature Plants 4:345-351 doi: 10.1038/s41477-018-0150-9
Hohmann U, Santiago J, Nicolet J, Olsson V, Spiga FM, Hothorn LA, Butenko MA, Hothorn M (2018) Mechanistic basis for the activation of plant membrane receptor kinases by SERK-family coreceptors. PNAS 115(13):3488-3493

Wild R, Gerasimaite R, Jung JY, Truffault V, Pavlovic I, Schmidt A, Saiardi A, Jessen HJ, Poirier Y*, Hothorn M, Mayer A (2016) Control of eukaryotic phosphate homeostasis by inositol polyphosphate sensor domains. Science 352(6288):986-90

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