GRK  2062 "Molecular Principles of Synthetic Biology"

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Open positions

Group Prof. Dr. Kirsten Jung

Project: Synthetic control of bacterial translation

One of the challenges of Synthetic Biology is designing appropriate genetic circuits for controlling gene expression and protein synthesis at levels that optimize system function. The process of translation involves many aspects of regulation that are still not completely understood. Specifically, stretches of three consecutive prolines cause strong ribosome stalling that is alleviated, but not fully compensated by the recruitment of elongation factor P (EF-P) to the ribosome (Ude et al., Science 2013). Bacteria use various strategies, mostly posttranslational modification, to activate EF-P.
The project aims at the synthetic, constitutive activation of EF-P in the major biotechnological workhorses Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. In addition, the regulatory role of polyproline motifs in various essential proteins shall be explored. These research questions will be addressed by using a combination of synthetic biology, molecular biology, biochemical, and bioinformatics approaches.

Applications should have a strong background in molecular biology, and protein biochemistry.

Place of work: Ludwig-Maxilimilians-Universität München, LMU Biocenter, Großhaderner Str. 2-4, 82152 Martinsried, Germany

Group Prof. Dr. Anja Hoffmann-Röder

Project: Synthetic glycopeptides: Routes toward bacterial flagellin sialopeptide mimics and rhamnosylated peptides for antibody generation

The candidate should have a solid background in chemistry and biochemistry.

Place of work: Ludwig-Maxilimilians-Universität München, Butenandtstr. 5-13, Haus F, 81377 München, Germany

Group Prof. Dr. Petra Schwille

Project: Light-guided assembly of large-scale contractile rings

The aim of this project is the generation of well-defined large actomyosin- and FtsZ-based ring structures at the inner circumference of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), and the energy-dependent induction of contractile activity, to be accompanied by vesicle deformation. Our long-term goal is to arrive at an inducible minimal division machinery for vesicle-based protocells. We explore the prospects of light-induced linkers of the proteins to membrane, in order to tailor the exact spatial dimensions and shapes of the contractile structures.

The candidate should have a solid background in biophysics and molecular biology. We are searching for a highly motivated PhD student who is willing to work in a competitive research field.

Place of work: Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany