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PhD and Postdoc position in in-situ structural biology of membrane proteins

Positions by 99Science

The Kudryashev group at the MDC is interested in structure of membrane proteins and the mechanisms of regulation by their surrounding molecules, “in situ”.  For this we cryo electron tomography which is an imaging modality allowing to observe proteins and their complexes in their native state without the need for protein purification. Multiple repeating proteins can be digitally extracted from tomograms (to “subtomograms”), mutually aligned and averaged improving the signal of the noisy tomograms (Leigh et al, 2019). Subtomogram averaging is very successful for a number of applications such as highly stable viral lattices or very large proteins, where high resolutions of 3-4 Angstrom could be achieved. We apply these methods to understanding structure and function of membrane proteins mostly from the brain and develop computational methods for making structural analysis faster and at higher resolution.

This is a broad call for a PhD student or a postdoc interested in structural biology and backgrounds in some of: biochemistry / neuroscience / biophysics / computer science / engineering / applied mathematics. The successful candidate will

·      Establish and execute workflows for structural analysis of membrane proteins in situ by cryo electron tomography

·      (or) develop computational methods for high-resolution structural determination of proteins in tomograms using HPC, CUDA, AI; our preferred technologies are Matlab, C/C++, Python

·      Collaborate with a multidisciplinary group of colleagues within the group and at the MDC, attend local meetings, workshops and conferences

The group has a premium access to the newly established Charite’ Core Facility for cryo-EM located on the Buch campus (https://iris.charite.de/landing/provider/17722) with the focus on tomography. The facility hosts a Krios G3i with an energy filter and a K3, Aquilos2 for Cryo-FIB milling, a cryo-CLEM setup and all the required supporting machinery. We have excellently equipped spacious labs and a high-performance computing system.


Postdoc candidates should have a PhD degree in biomedical science or a relevant field field; PhD candidates should have an equivalent of a Master degree in a relevant field. The initial appointment will be 3 years for a PhD student, 2 years for a postdoc. Please apply via the MDC application portal and provide a single PDF with your CV and a 1-page motivation letter with a short description of your dream experiment. Please provide 2-3 contacts for reference letter requests.

Representative publications:

Zhang Y, Dijkman P, Zou R, Zandl-Lang M, Sanchez R, Eckhardt-Strelau L, Köfeler H, Vogel H, Yuan S, Kudryashev M, Asymmetric opening of the homopentameric 5-HT3A serotonin receptor in lipid bilayers; Nature Communications, 2021;12:1074

Sanchez R, Zhang Y, Chen W, Dietrich L, Kudryashev M, Subnanometer-resolution structure determination in situ by hybrid subtomogram averaging – single particle cryo-EM. Nature Communications, 2020, 11: 3709.

Chen W, Kudryashev M, Structure of RyR1 in native membranes, EMBO Reports, 2020, 9:e49891

Review: Leigh K, Navarro PP, Scaramuzza S, Chen W, Zhang Y, Castaño-Díez D, Kudryashev M, Subtomogram averaging from cryo electron tomograms, in: Methods in Cell Biology, 2019, 152:217-259, https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.mcb.2019.04.003

Full up-to-date list: https://scholar.google.com/citations?sortby=pubdate&hl=en&user=Rg40N1UAAAAJ

About MDC

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) is a leading international biomedical research center with the goal of elucidating the molecular mechanisms of health and disease in order to create the basis for new therapies and diagnostic procedures. The MDC is a member of the largest scientific organization in Germany – the Helmholtz Association – and offers a stimulating and interactive research environment with the most modern infrastructure. Currently, 1,250 employees and approximately 500 guests work at the locations in Berlin-Buch and Berlin-Mitte. The diversity of our workforce is a strength and promotes creativity and innovative spirit at the MDC. MDC offers:

International working environment with communication in English
Interesting career opportunities and a comprehensive range of qualification and further training opportunities
Compatibility of family and career certified by the berufundfamilie audit
Varied support for “New Berliners” (Welcome & Family Office)
Company health management with fitness center

You also benefit from:

Fascinating culture and attractions of Berlin
A remuneration in accordance with the collective agreement for the federal public service (TVöD-Bund), including additional company pension schemes
Flexible working hours and childcare support
An idyllic green campus, which is easily accessible by bicycle, public transport or car

Please apply via the MDC website: https://www.mdc-berlin.de/career/jobs/phd-student-postdoc-position-situ-structural-biology-membrane-proteins


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