Universität Bonn

Research Training Group RTG 2873 - University of Bonn

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12 PhD Positions and 1 Postdoctoral Position

Application deadline: January 20, 2023

Later applications might still be considered in exceptional cases.

PhD and Postdoc positions available

The Graduate Research Training Group 2873 “Tools and Drugs of the Future – Innovative Methods and New Modalities in Medicinal Chemistry”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) offers 12 PhD Positions (TVL E13, 65%) and 1 Postdoctoral Position (TVL E13, 100%).

The research program focuses on drug research and development comprising four core themes:

(I) targeted protein degraders (PROTACs),
(II) macrocyclic drugs,
(III) biopolymers as tools and drugs, and
(IV) drug conjugates.

The GRK provides a structured qualification program in an interdisciplinary and strongly internationally oriented environment. A unique feature is the lab exchange program with leading international universities.

The following disciplines are represented by the participating research groups:
pharmaceutical & medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology, structural biology, pharmaceutical & cell biology, molecular pharmacology, and microbiology.

We are looking for highly qualified and strongly motivated national and international graduate students with an excellent degree.

For the postdoctoral position we are looking for an excellent young scientist experienced in structural biology and/or protein expression and purification with a focus on membrane proteins.

Postdoctoral position for structural biology project

This project aims to determine experimental high-resolution structures of GPR84 in complex with various ligands. X-ray crystallography is suitable for obtaining high-resolution structures of GPCRs, particularly in the inactive state. Recently, lipidic cubic phase methods for membrane protein crystallography have been established in the Müller lab and the group has successfully solved its first GPCR crystal structures in complex with ligand conjugates. However, the crystallization and structure determination of GPCRs is far from trivial and requires extensive protein engineering in order to stabilize the proteins for expression and purification. A Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 insect cell expression system is routinely utilized for GPCR optimization and high-throughput stability screening of different protein constructs. Therefore, the expression of GPR84 in Sf9 insect cells and enhanced receptor stabilization will be achieved and optimized by introducing suitable point mutations and further modifications (e.g. soluble fusion proteins).

X-ray crystallography still remains the gold standard for the structure determination of GPCRs in their inactive state, whereas cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has become increasingly feasible for resolving high-resolution active state GPCR-G protein complexes. Thus, it is planned to additionally embark on cryo-EM studies for obtaining GPR84 structures in complex various ligands.

The postdoctoral scientist working on this project will be integrated into the RTG regarding collaborative research and teaching, and become increasingly independent. This will enable her/him to pursue an independent research career.

Structural biology expertise will be highly useful for many of the projects within the RTG. Thus, there will be opportunities for collaboration within the RTG. Moreover, the postdoctoral researcher will be integrated into the RTG’s national and international network.

Apply now

Complete applications including cover letter, GRK2873 application form, CV, and copies of certificates should be submitted via E-mail (one PDF file) to grk2873@uni-bonn.de.

Women are especially encouraged to apply. Disabled applicants with equal qualifications are given preferential consideration.

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