PhD in computational & experimental protein design for synthetic biology 2.0 FTE

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 30 Mar 2022

You are invited to apply for a 4-year position as a PhD candidate in the research group of Dr. Maximilian Fürst. Together with another PhD student, the successful candidate will be the first members of the newly founded Computational Protein Design group headed by Dr. Fürst. The research focus of the group will be high-throughput protein engineering, combining computational design and directed evolution.

Proteins are increasingly used for biomedical and biotechnological applications—e.g. in pharma companies, which create tailor-made human drug antibodies, or the chemical industry that develops highly specific enzyme catalysts. Because naturally found proteins are usually not well suited to the human-desired task, scientists have developed protein engineering tools to mend their properties and function. The Fürst lab is conducting research that aims to push the boundaries of currently available protein engineering methods by combining cutting-edge techniques in molecular and computational biology. For an exciting interdisciplinary project, the Fürst lab seeks two PhD candidates that will engineer proteins of relevance to biomedicine, biocatalysis, and synthetic biology by:

• predicting designer proteins using both computational biophysical tools (such as structure modelling, docking, and molecular dynamics simulations), as well as bioinformatic approaches (including deep sequencing analysis and machine learning)
• creating high-quality genotype variant libraries with state-of-the-art molecular biology using i.a. synthetic DNA, molecular barcoding, and multi-fragment DNA assembly
• developing and applying high-throughput biochemical protein variant screens using in vivo selections and in vitro screens, such as protein display, water-in-oil emulsions, and plate screens, in combination with next-generation sequencing
• routinely performing standard molecular biology / biochemistry techniques such as PCR, cloning, protein expression and purification.

The two available positions are either for candidates seeking to conduct an interdisciplinary computational and experimental project, or for specialised candidates with a focus on either.


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