PhD Positions in Biochemistry and Neuroscience at Leipzig University, Germany (November 2017)

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Several fixed-term for 3 years PhD positions are open at the University of Leipzig. The successful candidates will work at the interface between molecular pharmacology, physiology and and biophysics in a project of the Rudolf Schönheimer Institute for Biochemistry (Prof. Tobias Langenhan; Head of DFG Research Unit ‘Elucidation of Adhesion GPCR Signaling’).

The projects concern the investigation of novel class of surface receptor molecules that function as mechanosensors and are markers of cancer progression. Further information can be found at

Central questions concern the fundamental physiological tasks, pharmacological principles and viscoelastic properties of these receptors and their expressing cells and tissues. The main objective is the determination how these receptors’ activation and signaling mechanism is implemented at the molecular and cellular scale. The projects will rest on the close collaboration between biomedical researchers, structural biologists and physicists. The experimental measurements will be facilitated by in-house theoretical and experimental support.

The successful candidates will establish structure-function studies and pharmacological signaling assays of receptor activity, and combine those – depending on the specific adhesion GPCR homolog – with (a) force measurements using atomic force microscopy-force spectroscopy and magnetic tweezers; (b) genetic and biofinformatical studies; or (c) physiological assays using Drosophila melanogaster as an in vivo model for adhesion GPCR signaling.

The PhD students will have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, which are located at the Institute of Biochemistry and partner institutions in Leipzig. The international and interdisciplinary environment at the department provides an excellent infrastructure allowing dynamic scientific exchange across the traditional disciplines. The lab has also a central role in the German and international adhesion GPCR community and successful candidates will gain immediate access to a young yet rapidly emerging field in biomedicine with long-term large career potential.

The candidates should have a MSc. degree in physics, material science, biology or related fields, be fluent in English and have solid background in physics or molecular biology. Experience with the investigation of biomolecules with physical methods (e.g. AFM-FS, magnetic or optical tweezers), molecular biology or Drosophila is beneficial. Leipzig University is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increase the proportion of women in academia. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by female colleagues. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. We also welcome applications from candidates with severe disabilities. Disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered.

Please submit your application by email with the usual documents (cover letter, CV, three references, Master’s transcript) before the December 31, 2017 to:

Prof. Tobias Langenhan, MD, DPhil (Oxon)
Faculty of Medicine
Rudolf Schönheimer Institute of Biochemistry
Division of General Biochemistry
Leipzig University
P: +49 (0)341 9722100