University of Heidelberg

ZMBH - Open Positions


Scientific Job Openings

 

 

Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

The laboratory of Prof. Dr. Daniela Duarte Campos at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) is seeking a

Postdoc – Bioink Development for In Vivo Bioprinting Applications (f/m/d)

For participating in a BMBF NanoMatFutur grant focused on the development of a new in vivo bioprinting technology to fabricate human corneal tissue directly at the operating room.

Corneal damage as a result of injury, infection or hereditary corneal defects can cause pain, blurred vision and eventually blindness. When corneal damage and vision problems cannot be corrected with non-invasive treatments such as eye drops, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, corneal transplants are the ultimate treatment option. This project opens a new way of clinical treatment, for which currently only allografts are used. In short, our concept uses the patient's cells, for example stromal keratocytes differentiated from bone marrow cells, and combines them with a hydrogel that is loaded into a bioprinter. After removing damaged tissue, the surgeon will print the cell-hydrogel mixture layer-by-layer on the patient's eye to create a new cornea.

The Bioprinting Lab investigates biofabrication technologies and biomaterials suitable for in vivo and in vitro tissue and organ engineering, and their impact on the structure and function of natural and synthetic living tissues.

Your task will be to develop a new bioink that allows for in vivo bioprinting of corneal tissue. The work will involve a variety of techniques including but not limited to:

  • Design, synthesis and testing of a new bioink
  • Preparation and handling of natural and synthetic hydrogels
  • Rheological and mechanical characterisation of bioinks for in vivo bioprinting

Your profile:

  • Master degree in Chemistry, Materials Science or related disciplines
  • Passionate about tissue and organ engineering
  • Previous experience in hydrogel synthesis, rheological and mechanical characterization of hydrogels, and/or bioprinting is desirable
  • Excellent achievements and English language skills
  • Motivation to work in an international environment as part of a team

We offer an international and attractive work environment in the Bioprinting Lab at the ZMBH. The salary is based on TV-L scale. The position is limited to three years. The position is available for immediate start.

Applications should be sent to Prof. Daniela Duarte Campos (dcampos@uni-heidelberg.de) in one single PDF-file that includes a letter of motivation, CV, copy of transcripts and name of 2-3 referees. We ask for your understanding that application documents received by post will not be returned.
Closing date for applications: February 11, 2021
Heidelberg University stands for equal opportunities and diversity. Qualified female candidates are especially invited to apply. Disabled persons will be given preference if they are equally qualified. Information on the application process and the collection of personal data is available at www.uni-heidelberg.de/stellenmarkt.
         
Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

The laboratory of Prof. Dr. Daniela Duarte Campos at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) is seeking a

PhD student – In Vivo Biofabrication Technologies (f/m/d)

For participating in a BMBF NanoMatFutur grant focused on the development of a new in vivo bioprinting technology to fabricate human corneal tissue directly at the operating room.

Corneal damage as a result of injury, infection or hereditary corneal defects can cause pain, blurred vision and eventually blindness. When corneal damage and vision problems cannot be corrected with non-invasive treatments such as eye drops, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, corneal transplants are the ultimate treatment option. This project opens a new way of clinical treatment, for which currently only allografts are used. In short, our concept uses the patient's cells, for example stromal keratocytes differentiated from bone marrow cells, and combines them with a hydrogel that is loaded into a bioprinter. After removing damaged tissue, the surgeon will print the cell-hydrogel mixture layer-by-layer on the patient's eye to create a new cornea.

The Bioprinting Lab investigates biofabrication technologies and biomaterials suitable for in vivo and in vitro tissue and organ engineering, and their impact on the structure and function of natural and synthetic living tissues.

Your task will be to develop a new bioprinting set-up that allows for in vivo bioprinting of corneal tissue. The work will involve a variety of techniques including but not limited to:

  • Design and construction of a new printer head and bioprinting set-up
  • natural and synthetic hydrogel preparation and handling
  • rheological and mechanical characterisation of bioinks

Your profile:

  • Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or related disciplines
  • Passionate about tissue and organ engineering
  • Previous experience in CAD design, simulation software (e.g. ANSYS), 3D printing, hydrogel handling and/or bioprinting is desirable
  • Excellent achievements and English language skills
  • Motivation to work in an international environment as part of a team

We offer an international and attractive work environment in the Bioprinting Lab at the ZMBH. The salary is based on TV-L scale. The position is limited to four years. The position is available for immediate start.

Applications should be sent to Prof. Daniela Duarte Campos (dcampos@uni-heidelberg.de) in one single PDF-file that includes a letter of motivation, CV, copy of transcripts and name of 2-3 referees. We ask for your understanding that application documents received by post will not be returned.
Closing date for applications: February 11, 2021
Heidelberg University stands for equal opportunities and diversity. Qualified female candidates are especially invited to apply. Disabled persons will be given preference if they are equally qualified. Information on the application process and the collection of personal data is available at www.uni-heidelberg.de/stellenmarkt.
         
Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

PhD student positions (dry and wet lab): Vertebrate brain origins and evolution

Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Heidelberg University, Germany

Two PhD student positions (3 years with possible extensions) are available immediately in the evolutionary genomics group of Henrik Kaessmann. Applications will be reviewed until the positions are filled.

We are seeking highly qualified and enthusiastic applicants with a Master degree, a keen interest in evolutionary questions, and a talent and passion for experimental molecular/cellular work and/or bioinformatics analyses (i.e., both joint and distinct dry/wet lab projects are possible).

Our lab has been interested in a range of topics related to the origins and evolution of organs in mammals and other vertebrates and the various underlying genomic/molecular changes (see “Selected Publications” below). In the framework of our research, we have generated and analyzed comprehensive genomics (e.g., RNA-seq, ATAC-seq) datasets based on samples from our large organ collections. More recently, we have begun to bring the work of our lab to the level of single cells using state-of-the-art single-cell genomics technologies and bioinformatics procedures.

The PhD student positions will be funded by a recently awarded ERC Advanced Grant (VerteBrain – “The Ancestral Vertebrate Brain and its Cellular Diversification During Evolution”). In the framework of this grant, we seek to unravel the molecular origins and evolution of the vertebrate brain and its constituent substructures and cell types. Possible projects involve the generation and/or comparative/bioinformatics analyses of extensive single-cell transcriptomic, epigenomic, and spatial transcriptomics data for key species representing all major vertebrate lineages, ranging from jawless vertebrates, such as the sea lamprey, to mammals, such as platypus and human. The precise projects will be developed together with the candidates, based on their respective interests and dry/wet lab skills.

In our lab, we attach great importance to a highly collaborative and positive team spirit! Indeed, we have various “mini-teams” of dry and wet lab researchers within the lab, who enthusiastically drive projects forward in remarkable ways. We are also particularly fond of the diverse cultural backgrounds of our lab members, which contribute to a very enriching atmosphere.

For more information on the group and our institute more generally, please refer to our website at the ZMBH (http://www.zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de/Kaessmann/).

Please submit a CV, statement of research interest, and names of three references to: Henrik Kaessmann (h.kaessmann@zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de).

         
Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

PhD position:
“Microtubules – building them at the right time, at the right place”

Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH)
Heidelberg University

Microtubules are highly dynamic polymers with essential functions in chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, intracellular organization, cell motility and neurogenesis. Microtubules are targets for drugs that are used in cancer therapy (Paclitaxel and Vinca alkaloids). Microtubule malfunction is associated with cancer, infertility and neurological diseases.

Using gamma-tubulin complexes, cells have developed mechanisms for the assembly of microtubules from tubulin subunits. We just have resolved the high resolution cryo-EM structure of the large vertebrate gamma-tubulin ring complex (gamma-TuRC) composed of over 30 subunits (published in Nature 2019). Unexpectedly, we identified actin as a component of the gamma-TuRC. The activity of the gamma-TuRC is modulated in time and space by accessory factors, for example microtubule polymerases and activators such as the microcephaly protein CDK5RAP2.

In this project we aim to understand the role of actin in the gamma-TuRC, when and where regulatory co-factors play a role, how they impact the structure of the gamma-TuRC and how the activity of these regulators is changed in cancer and adapted in specific cell types, for example neurons.

The PhD student will be using a broad range of techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy, CRISPR/Cas9 technology for genomic knock-ins and knockouts and live cell imaging to study microtubule assembly.
The highly motivated PhD student should have a background in biochemistry or cell biology. Successful candidates will be part of an international team of PhD students and postdocs that works at the forefront of scientific research. The PhD student will be a member of the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School (HBIGS) (http://www.hbigs.uni-heidelberg.de/). The PhD position is funded for 3 years

Please send applications (CV, motivation letter, two references, bachelor and master transcripts) to E. Schiebel (schiebel.elmar@zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de).

         
Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

Master Projects

in the laboratory of Prof. E. Schiebel, Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), University of Heidelberg, Germany

My laboratory at the ZMBH, University of Heidelberg, is offering Master projects in the following areas:

The structure and function of gamma-tubulin complexes.  Gamma-tubulin complexes assemble microtubules from tubulin subunits. Microtubules have essential functions for chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, fertility, transport process in particularly in neurons. Drugs such as Taxol that target tubulin are broadly used in cancer therapy. Gamma-tubulin complexes regulate the spatial and temporal formation of microtubules. In this project we determine the structure of gamma-tubulin complexes by Cryo-EM. We will also analyse how gamma-tubulin complexes interact with microtubule polymerases.

Centrosome duplication and centriole-centrosome conversion. Centrosomes are the main microtubule organizing centres in human cells. They only duplicate once per cell cycle. Misregulation of centrosome duplication triggers a p53 response and G1 arrest. This safeguard mechanism is bypassed in cancer cells. After duplication in S phase centrosomes convert into mature centrosomes. Here we analyse the molecular mechanism of this conversion process.

Centrosome cohesion. The two centrosomes of a cell are linked together into one unit from G1 until G2 phase. At the beginning of mitosis this linkage is resolved by the kinase NEK2. Here we will study molecular mechanisms of this linkage, the structure of the linker and functional consequences if centrosome cohesion fails.

Nuclear pore complex biogenesis and spindle pole body duplication. Nuclear pore complexes and the yeast spindle pole body (SPB; yeast microtubule organizing centre) are both embedded in the double membrane of the nuclear envelope. Here we aim to understand how large protein assemblies become inserted into the nuclear envelope and how the inner and outer nuclear envelopes fuse during this embedding process.

During the 6-month master project, you will receive a Student Assistant Contract (Hiwi contract).

 Please send applications with a short motivation letter, CV, bachelor transcripts and the name of one referee to Prof. Dr. E. Schiebel (schiebel.elmar@zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de).

         
Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

Lab Rotation in the Laboratory of Prof. Elmar Schiebel, ZMBH, Heidelberg University

My laboratory at the ZMBH, Heidelberg University, is offering lab rotations (6-8 weeks) for Master students who are interested in cell biology, molecular biology or biochemistry.

Topics are:

The structure and function of gamma-tubulin complexes.  Gamma-tubulin complexes assemble microtubules from tubulin subunits. Microtubules have essential functions for chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, fertility, transport process in particularly in neurons. Drugs such as Taxol that target tubulin are broadly used in cancer therapy. Gamma-tubulin complexes regulate the spatial and temporal formation of microtubules. In this project we determine the structure of gamma-tubulin complexes by Cryo-EM.

Genomic tagging of genes in human cells. Presently we are establishing and optimizing approaches based on gRNA and Cas9-like enzymes to tag human genes at the 3’ and 5’ end with a toolbox of PCR cassettes (NeonGreen, GFP, mRuby, auxin degron tag). This allows tagging of human genes within 20 days.

Centrosome duplication and centriole-centrosome conversion. Centrosomes are the main microtubule organizing centres in human cells. They only duplicate once per cell cycle. Misregulation of centrosome duplication triggers a p53 response and G1 arrest. This safeguard mechanism is bypassed in cancer cells. After duplication in S phase centrosomes convert into mature centrosome. Here we analyse the molecular mechanism of the conversion process.

Nuclear pore complex biogenesis and spindle pole body duplication. Nuclear pore complexes and the yeast spindle pole body (SPB; yeast microtubule organizing centre) are both embedded in the double membrane of the nuclear envelope. Here we aim to understand how large protein assemblies become inserted into the nuclear envelope and how the inner and outer nuclear envelopes fuse during this embedding process.

Please send applications to E. Schiebel: schiebel.elmar@zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de

         
Listed: 27.01.2022        
       

Project Title: Structure-function analysis of J-domain cochaperones

Project leader: Matthias P. Mayer

Application Deadline: until position is filled

Start of PhD project: as soon as possible

Source of Funding: University of Heidelberg

Project Description:
In the center of this PhD project is the molecular mechanism of the Hsp70 chaperone machinery. Hsp70 chaperones are central hubs of the protein quality control network and work in collaboration with J-domain cochaperones and nucleotide exchange factors to facilitate a wide variety of protein folding processes and so (re)establish protein homeostasis. The Hsp70s are highly dynamic nanomachines that modulate the conformation of their substrate polypeptides by transiently binding to short, mostly hydrophobic stretches. This interaction is regulated by an intricate allosteric mechanism. The J-domain cochaperones target Hsp70 to their polypeptide substrates, and the nucleotide exchange factors regulate the lifetime of the Hsp70-substrate complexes. In vivo, Hsp70 and J-domain cochaperones are modified by posttranslational modifications and the aim of this PhD project will be to analyze the molecular mechanism J-domain proteins in vitro using biochemical and biophysical techniques with purified proteins. Complementary in-vivo-experiments will be carried out in E. coli and mammalian cell culture.

References:
Mayer, M.P. The Hsp70-chaperone machines in bacteria, Front Mol Biosci. (2021) Jun 7;8:694012. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.694012
Mayer, M. P. & Gierasch, L. M. Recent advances in the structural and mechanistic aspects of Hsp70 molecular chaperones. Journal of Biological Chemistry jbc.REV118.002810 (2018). doi:10.1074/jbc.REV118.002810
Kityk, R., Kopp, J. & Mayer, M. P. Molecular Mechanism of J-Domain-Triggered ATP Hydrolysis by Hsp70 Chaperones. Molecular Cell 69, 227–237.e4 (2018).
Kityk, R., Vogel, M., Schlecht, R., Bukau, B. & Mayer, M. P. Pathways of allosteric regulation in Hsp70 chaperones. Nat Commun 6, 8308 (2015).
Mayer, M. P. Hsp70 chaperone dynamics and molecular mechanism. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 38, 507–514 (2013).

Methods that will be used:
Molecular biology methods, Protein purification methods, biochemical assays, fluorescence spectroscopy and mass spectrometry; E. coli and mammalian cell culture.

Profile of candidate’s qualification:
The candidate should have a strong background in biochemistry/biophysics and should be highly motivated to succeed in science. Experience in mammalian cell culture would be an advantage.

Please send this form to the HBIGS office by email to: r.lutz@hbigs.uni-heidelberg.de

         
     


Non-Scientific Job Openings

         
         
   

 

     

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Additional positions for research assistants and non-scientific personnel are also regularly published on the pages of the University's central job market:

Central job market of the University



 
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