Master thesis: Development of a High-Throughput Screening method for the selection of enantioselective FhuA-variants

About us: 
Within the AG Schwaneberg, in five divisions a joint research agenda is pursued to discover fundamental protein engineering principles and to apply tailored biocatalysts in industrial applications. The scientific competence is built on an array of in-house developed methods and technology platforms for directed evolution which comprises diversity generation methods in the division Molecular Bioeconomy, high throughput screening systems in the division Hybrid Catalysis & High Throughput Screening, and tools to analyze and design proteins in the division Computational Biology that will ultimately lead to tailored-biocatalysts for significant applications in industry. Within two application subgroups, namely the divisions Next Generation Biocatalysis and Biohybrid Systems, interdisciplinary projects utilize protein engineering to design novel applications for industrial applications and material sciences.


FhuA (ferric hydroxamate uptake protein component A) is an outer membrane protein (β-barrel) in E. coli. The natural function of FhuA is to secrete siderophores that bind iron molecules during iron deficiency. The siderophores are then taken up again by the FhuA protein, thus providing new iron molecules for E. coli.
In a BMBF-funded project of the initiative “Basistechnologien für die nächste Generation biotechnologischer Verfahren – Biotechnologie 2020+ 2020+" (€ 3.5 million over 8 years), we have produced protein-polymer membranes with defined monodisperse pores. Here, the FhuA serves as a pore. These membranes enable new biotechnological processes in the field of downstream processing. The goal is the use of our membrane technology for the separation and processing of substances (simple separation by size exclusion up to the demanding future chiral separation.

Aim of the project: 
As part of the thesis/internship, the interior of the FhuA protein will be modified by various mutagenesis methods that a separation of pharmaceutical chiral molecules will achieved. For this, it is necessary to establish a suitable screening method. Beforehand, two different enzymes (e.g., tyrosinase) has already been selected and tested for positive activity. These enzymes will now be expressed in the periplasma and further tested for its screening effectiveness. If the application is positive, then FhuA-libraries will be generated and screened in high-throughput.


Who you are:
- Student of natural science e.g. biology, biotechnology, biochemistry etc.
- Idially you have background in molecular biology, microbiology and enzymology.
- Enjoy working in the lab and in the team.

Wir bieten

- Modern laboratory (state of the art) with industry proximity
- Friendly environment, qualified supervision and flexible working hours
- Own idea development within the project

- Molecular biology: PCR, Cloning;
- Microbiology: E. coli expression (MTP), enzyme assay development

Kontakt für Bewerbungen

Dr. Marco Grull
Lehrstuhl für BiotechnologieAdresseGebäude:
2. Sammelbau Biologie
Raum: 4.032
Worringerweg 3
52074 Aachen

Kontakt: Phone+49 241 80 23605

Please send a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, certificates and, if available, certificates of employment.
In German or English.
If you have questions about the topic, feel free to write or call.

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Über RWTH Aachen - Lehrstuhl für Biotechnologie

Die AG Schwaneberg ist in insgesamt fünf Abteilungen gegliedert, die gemeinsam daran arbeiten ein besseres Verständnis grundlegender Prinzipien zum Aufbau von Proteinen zu generieren und maßgeschneiderte Biokatalysatoren für industrielle Anwendungen zum Einsatz zu bringen. Die wissenschaftliche Kompetenz stützt sich auf eine großen Anzahl selbst entwickelter Methoden und Technologieplattformen...
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