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PhD Student / Doctoral Student in Chemical Biology and Enzymology

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PhD Student / Doctoral Student in
Chemical Biology and Enzymology
The Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany is advertising a PhD position in the “Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology of Microbial Metabolism Group“ of Dr. Tobias Erb.

WHO WE ARE: A young and dynamic international research group at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany (North of Frankfurt). Our research focuses on understanding and engin­eering novel enzymes and pathways for CO2-fixation. We like to discover and discuss novel concepts at the interface of chemistry and biology. You can find more information on our group here:

WHO YOU ARE: A highly motivated student with an MSc in chemistry or biology who likes to work in a communicative and creative atmosphere. You have a strong background and interest in mechanistic enzymology and/or biological chemistry. You are an independently working, critically thinking person who is interested in the fundamental question, how enzymes catalyze reactions. Ideally, you have some mathe­matical and physico-chemical background to understand the chemical basis of enzyme catalysis, and experience in organic synthesis. Most importantly: you are not afraid to develop, test and discard new hypotheses.

YOUR RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT: The position offered is part of a multidisciplinary project, funded by the European Union (ERC Starting Grant "SYBORG"), in which we will study, explore and apply the most efficient CO2 fixation reaction described in Nature so far (Erb et al. PNAS 2009). You contribution will focus on deciphering the mechanistic basis of its catalysis (Rosenthal et al. Nature Chemical Biology 2014).

The Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology and the neighboring Philipps University of Marburg form one of the largest clusters of microbiology research in Europe and offer a stimulating and interdisciplinary research environment. Recently, the Max Planck Institute and the Phillips University established the SYNMIKRO center to explore the foundations of synthetic microbiology.

As PhD student you will have the opportunity to join the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS-Mic). The three-year PhD program of IMPRS-Mic promotes the interactions of researches from different fields in an interdisciplinary approach and offers a multitude of work­shops and soft skill courses for the scientific and personal development of the PhD student.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with disabilities. We therefore actively encourage individuals with disabilities to apply. We also seek to increase the percentage of female employees in areas where they are under-represented. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply.

The appointment is for three years, starting around April / May 2015. Applications should be sent as single PDF by e-mail to Tobias Erb ( Please include a CV with grades & certificates, a one-page cover letter describing your research motivation, and academic referees. Applications will be reviewed on March 9th, 2015, but are also considered after this date until the position is filled.


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Berufserfahrung vorausgesetzt
Deutschland (Hessen)
35043 Marburg
Biologie & Life Sciences