Jobs in Structural Biology and Related Fields

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Structural Biology - Mechanism and Regulation of Transposition

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

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the highest ranked scientific research organisations in the world. The Headquarters Laboratory is located in Heidelberg (Germany), with additional sites in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Hinxton (UK) and Monterotondo (Italy).

A postdoctoral position is available in the Barabas Group 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 have recruited transposons to fulfill essential functions. 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 cell and to better exploit them for genetic engineering, we investigate how transposons move at molecular and cellular levels; and how their host cells control them through small RNA pathways and DNA methylation.

We are seeking 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 involved in projects using a combination of structural biology (mainly X-ray crystallography), biochemistry (nucleic acid enzymology), biophysics, and/or cell biology. 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.

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Qualifications and Experience
Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in structural biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, chemistry, biophysics, or in a closely related area. Research experience in structural biology, biochemistry, and basic molecular biology is desired. Moreover, an ability to work independently, as well as in a team, good communication skills, and advanced level of English are also essential.

Please note that we highly encourage candidates who are near completion of a PhD to also apply.