Applications are invited for PhD positions/Postdoc/Senior Postdoc in our lab for theoretical and computational membrane biophysics at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
Erlangen is a center for immunobiology with more than 70 groups focusing on immunological topics. In addition, since 2021, the University of Erlangen hosts a National High Performance Computing Center (hpc.fau.de) with a focus on atomistic simulations.
Plasma membranes and in general biomembranes establish and maintain differences in composition between the cell or organelle interior and exterior. Biomembranes are the site for cell-cell recognition, they allow active and passive transport of material into and out of the cell, and they harbour proteins as initiators of signal transduction pathways.
Projects address the physico-chemical driving forces for the establishment of membrane domains within the immune cell plasma membrane, and their role for sensing of external signals by immune receptors and signal transduction, as well as membrane remodeling. The aim is to shed light on the cooperative action of proteins and lipids in shaping biomembrane structure.
Central questions for our research are
· How are external signals sensed by immune cells, how do lipids contribute to signal transfer across the cell membrane, and how do lipids modulate immune cell activation?
· What is the role of plasma membrane domains in immune cell activation?
· Can we modulate or control immune cell function by cell membrane composition?
and more general
· What are the physical driving forces for membrane domain formation?
· How is domain formation linked to plasma membrane asymmetry?
· How are plasma membrane asymmetry and biological membrane processes interlinked?
Applicants for doctoral positions:
Candidates should preferably hold a master degree in bio-/physics, theoretical/computational chemistry, life sciences or similar and a strong interest in interdisciplinary projects and collaborations to medical/immunology groups.
The successful applicant has a keen interest and strong skills in methods from statistical and computational physics, in particular atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. The project involves close collaboration with immunology groups. The Postdoc will have the opportunity to participate in a research cluster studying the structure and function of immune domains.
High level of English and good communication skills; effective team working.
Interested candidates should send one pdf document containing a cover letter, CV, and certificates to
Prof. Dr. Rainer Böckmann
Staudtstr. 5, 91058 Erlangen, Germany