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PhD-Position "Molecular analysis of conformational transitions within viral capsid proteins during virus entry"
Universitätsklinikum Tübingen (UKT)
Das UKT ist ein führendes Zentrum der deutschen Hochschulmedizin, in dem jährlich ca. 70.000 Patienten stationär und ca. 350.000 ambulant behandelt werden.
A PhD-Position (f/m) "Molecular analysis of conformational transitions within viral
capsid proteins during virus entry" is now available in the Experimental Virology Division
- junior research group "Viral Proteins" at the Medical Institute of the University Tuebingen,
Germany. The PhD-Position, is remunerated with 50-65 % TV-L and initially limited to 1 year
with possible extension.
Up to 90 % of Western population is infected with Human Papilloma- and/or Polyomaviruses.
These human pathogens are carcinogenic and related to several tumors. Besides harmless
warts, they can additionally cause severe diseases like progressive multifocal
leukoencephalopathy or lead to allograft rejection after renal transplantation and carcinoma.
Both closely related virus families are non-enveloped DNA-viruses. In a highly minimalistic
way these viruses consist of the viral genome attached to cellular histones and the capsid
protein bilayer composed of only two viral proteins. The viral genome encodes for several
(3-9) other regulatory viral proteins, including oncogenes. After genome release these
proteins regulate viral replication, cellular transformation and persistence.
The exterior shell of the viral capsid is a wonderful highly symmetric assembly of 360 copies
of the major coat protein. The unsymmetric inner layer is attached to the outer shell and
composed of the minor capsid proteins.
The PhD project will focus on the questions: how does the capsid integrity of the virus
change while passing the different cellular compartments? Are there symmetry-dependent
capsid transitions? Which properties facilitate the manifold protein functions with the
concurrent minimality of viral proteins? How do protein interactions influence the capsid
transitions? Furthermore there is a need for structural and functional protein characterization
addressing antiviral therapies and drug design.
The primary methodical repertoire includes recombinant protein production, refolding and
purification, spectroscopic and structural characterization (fluorescence, light scattering,
circular dichroism, crystallization, EM, >) as well as functional analysis in biological
environments and cell culture experiments.
The candidate should be interested in protein biochemistry and biophysics and should enjoy
proactive fundamental research embedded in a medical interdisciplinary environment.
Experiences in the respective methodical field are advantageous but not mandatory. A
Diploma thesis or master’s degree in biochemistry, biology, biotechnology or related fields is
Please submit your application including letter of motivation, CV, certificates,
recommendation letters in one PDF-file via e-mail to Dr. Claudia Simon:
firstname.lastname@example.org until the 17th July 2017. Ref. no.: 8010.
We offer remuneration in accordance with TV-L (collective wage agreement for the Public
Service of the German Federal State) in addition to all the customary benefits granted to
employees working in Public Services. Severly handicapped persons with equal
qualifications are given preferential consideration. The University of Tübingen is anxious to
increase its quota of female scientific staff, and therefore emphatically requests women to
apply for this position. The Administration of the University Hospital is responible for all
employment matters. Personnel appointments will be made pursuant to the fundamental
stipulations of the legal statutes for universities in Germany.
Institut für Medizinische Virologie und Epidemiologie der Viruskrankheiten
Frau Dr. Claudia Simon