Jobs in Structural Biology and Related Fields

Postdoctoral Fellow

EMBL Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Application deadline: 29 Sep 2013

Postdoctoral Fellow Position: Mechanism and Regulation of Transposition 

A funded postdoctoral fellow position is available in the group of Dr Orsolya Barabas at the Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. 
EMBL is a world leading international research organization pursuing interdisciplinary research in a collaborative atmosphere (see The Barabas Group studies the mechanism of movement and regulation of transposons using molecular and structural biology techniques. 

Transposons are mobile genetic elements that have shaped evolution for millions of years. They are often considered as harmful genomic parasites, because they introduce genetic mutations that can lead to cellular malfunction and disease. On the other hand, recent seminal findings show that many organisms from bacteria to man recruit transposons to fulfill essential functions. Such beneficial roles of transposons range from adaptation in bacteria, genome rearrangements in ciliated protozoa to genetic diversification during mammalian embriogenesis and neurogenesis. Moreover, transposons provide broadly applicable genetic tools with attractive applications in research and even in gene therapy. 
To understand the intricate interaction between transposons and their host cells we investigate at the molecular and cellular levels how transposons move and how their host cells control them. Among transposon silencing pathways, our current focus is on small RNAs and DNA methylation. We also explore the potential of transposon-based genetic tools and engineer them for advanced applications in genetics and synthetic biology. We employ an interdisciplinary approach combining structural biology (mainly X-ray crystallography, but also NMR, EM and FRET-based techniques in collaboration), biochemistry (nucleic acid enzymology), biophysics, microbiology, and cell biology. 

We seek a skilled and passionate biochemist or structural biologist who is enthusiastic to venture into this novel area of research. The successful candidate will join an energetic and highly interactive research group in the resourceful environment of EMBL, surrounded by world-class scientists from a wide variety of fields. He/she will be encouraged to work independently, but well integrated into a highly collaborative team. He/she will be offered expert training in either of the required experimental techniques, practice in training students, as well as career mentoring through institutional and individual means. 

Location: Heidelberg, Germany 
Staff Category: Postdoctoral Fellow 
Contract Duration: 2 years 
Grading: N/A 
Closing Date: 29 September 2013 

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