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Biological Scientist in PhD Position – Reconstitution of Cell Polarity and Morphogenesis (m/f)

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Max Planck Institute
for Molecular Physiology

PhD position – Reconstitution of Cell Polarity
and Morphogenesis

The research group of Systems Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology ( invites applications for a PhD position in Biochemistry/Biophysics.
Our research: The central goal of our research is to understand the mechanisms by which cells polarize to establish asymmetry in the distribution of their constituents. Cell polarity is based on a complex interplay between the cell memb­rane and cytoplasmic molecules, most notably the cytoskeleton. We study (i) how cellular membranes can self-organize to break symmetry and (ii) how membrane polarity can be harnessed by cytoskeletal systems to drive shape changes. To investigate the fundamental principles of self-organization we are using minimal, synthetic systems reconstituted from purified components1,2.
Research techniques applied in this project will include, but are not limited to:
  • performing a wide variety of molecular biological and biochemical techniques (e.g. cloning, protein purification, labeling etc.)
  • using advanced florescence microscopy techniques (TIRF and confocal microscopy, FRET-based imaging, single mo­lecule methods etc.)
  • carrying out data analysis (image processing, curve fiting, other custom software)
  • developing and planning research projects and writing manuscripts
The position: The position is open starting in January 2016 (payment according to TVöD 75%). The expected duration of a PhD is 3-4 years. The PhD students will:
  • join a dynamic, international and interdisciplinary research group
  • be a part of a larger research department with opportunities for collaboration
  • receive access to the excellent infrastructure available at the MPI for Molecular Physiology
  • be directly mentored and supervised by a young group leader
Your profile: Applicants should be highly motivated, creative and independent individuals and have an excellent acade­mic record. Further required criteria are: a M.Sc. in biological sciences (experience in biochemistry and/or biophysics are
preferred) and proficiency in English.
Your application: The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are under­represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. Furthermore the Max Planck Society is committed to employing more disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.
Please send your complete application documents (cover letter, CV and 2 reference letters) by e-mail to Dr. Peter Bieling (
1. Bieling P. et al. (2007) Reconstitution of a microtubule plus-end tracking system in vitro. Nature
2. Bieling P. et al. (2010) A minimal midzone protein module controls formation and length of antiparallel mi-
crotubule overlaps. Cell
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