PhD position in Molecular Biology/ Biochemistry

We offer a PhD position (Dr.rer.nat) at the University Freiburg, Dept. Neuropathology,
AG Molecular genetics (Knobeloch Lab)
Our work is focused on proteases counteracting protein modification by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like modifiers such as ISG15 and SUMO. We generate conditional knockout mice for different Ubiquitin specific proteases (USPs) and use a wide range of molecular, immunological and cellular technologies to define physiological and molecular functions. A selection of recent publications is listed below (1-4).

Activities and responsibilities

For this particular DFG funded project we generated a novel conditional knockout mouse line for a sparsely investigated SUMO-specific protease. As this isopeptidase was reported to additionally harbour non-enzymatic functions, a second mouse line with selective inactivation of only the catalytic activity was engineered. The task of this project is to define and dissect enzymatic and non-enzymatic molecular and physiological functions of this particular USP within the context of the whole organism.

Qualification profile

The applicant should hold a master degree or equivalent in Biology, Molecular Medicine, Immunology, Biochemistry or a related field. A strong interest in molecular biology and willingness to work with mice is mandatory. Experience with ubiquitin or SUMO modification and/or mouse genetics is a plus. Beside creativity and strong motivation we expect good communication skills and the ability for teamwork.

We offer

We offer a straightforward project which is based on extensive unpublished preliminary data and provide excellent working conditions in a highly motivated environment where hard work does not exclude fun. Despite the Corona situation we are fully operational. It is possible to associate the position with an upcoming graduate school.
Commencement of employment is scheduled as soon as possible, but flexible within a reasonable timeframe.

Please apply online providing a letter of interest, marks, credits, theme of the master/bachelor thesis, CV, and if available publications.

1. Basters, A. et al. Structural basis of the specificity of USP18 toward ISG15. Nature structural & molecular biology, doi:10.1038/nsmb.3371 (2017).
2. Ketscher, L. et al. Selective inactivation of USP18 isopeptidase activity in vivo enhances ISG15 conjugation and viral resistance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112, 1577-1582, doi:10.1073/pnas.1412881112 (2015).
3. Goldmann, T. et al. USP18 lack in microglia causes destructive interferonopathy of the mouse brain. The EMBO journal 34, 1612-1629, doi:10.15252/embj.201490791 (2015).
4. Dufner, A. et al. The ubiquitin-specific protease USP8 is critical for the development and homeostasis of T cells. Nature immunology 16, 950-960, doi:10.1038/ni.3230 (2015).

Send application to

PD Dr. Klaus-Peter Knobeloch
University Freiburg, Medical Faculty
Institute for Neuropathology

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: JV-USPL1

About Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

Die Neuropathologie stellt eine Schnittstelle zwischen klinischen und theoretischen Fächern sowohl in der klinischen Versorgung als auch in den Neurowissenschaften dar. Ein zentraler Aufgabenbereich ist daher die Forschung, deren Schwerpunkte in den Bereichen der Neuroimmunologie, Immunologie und Neurodegeneration liegen.
More about Universitätsklinikum Freiburg