You have a high scientific curiosity and experimental perseverance? Even an (unusual) photoreceptor might interest you? Then a PhD position in our DFG project might be the right choice:

The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest universities in Germany with around 44,000 students and with about 5,700 employees. Founded in 1914 by Frankfurt citizens and since 2008 once again proud of its foundation status Goethe University possesses a high degree of autonomy, modernity and professional diversity. As a comprehensive university, the Goethe University offers a total of 16 departments on five campuses and 154 degree programs along with an outstanding research reputation. Furthermore, the Goethe University is part of the Group of Rhine-Main-Universities (RMU).

In the working group Prof. Dr. C. Büchel at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences of the Department of Biosciences at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main there is a PhD position (m/f/d) (E 13 TV-G-U, 65% part-time) available for three years starting on 01.07.2023 latest.. The salary grade is based on the job characteristics of the collective agreement applicable to Goethe University (TV-G-U).

The position implies independent research work in the framework of the DFG Project “Signalling by a plant-like cryptochrome in diatoms”.
Cryptochromes are photoreceptors present in all living organisms. Plant-like cryptochromes were recently discovered in stramenopiles like diatoms, but are found in Chlorophyta and some animals like teleosts and annelids as well. CryP of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum belongs to this group, and we could show that it works as a blue light receptor. When overexpressed in E. coli, FADH• is the most stable redox state of the cofactor, implying that red or yellow light might work for signal transduction as well.

Genes for the usual protein interaction partners found in plants are missing in diatoms. We could identify interaction partners in vitro, but the localisation of these protein in the cells is still enigmatic, and proof of an in vivo interaction is missing. One possible function includes even the degradation of CryP.

The tasks include experiments primarily to analyse protein interaction partners of the plant like cryptochrome using bimolecular GFP fluorescence complementation (biFC) and confocal microscopy, as well as gene expression studies on knock-out mutants and wildtyp after different illumination protocols. In addition, experiments concerning the degradation of the cryptochrome will be performed.
In summary the project will provide first insights into the peculiar signalling pathway of a plant-like cryptochrome.

Recruitment requirement is a completed scientific university degree (diploma or master) in Biology or related topics from a scientific university in Germany or abroad. The candidate must have an excellent knowledge in molecular biology (cloning, transformation, expression studies). Knowledge in microscopy and biochemistry is of advantage. Ideally, the candidate will have practical experience with diatoms. Ample experience in digital data analysis as well as good language skills in English are mandatory.

The University promotes equal employment opportunities between men and women and supports the employment of disabled persons. Qualified women or persons with physical disabilities are therefore strongly encouraged to apply and will be given preference in case of appropriate qualifications and aptitudes.

Please send your application including a letter of reference by former supervisors until 31.01.2023 in one PDF-file to Prof. Dr. C. Büchel, Institute of Molecular Biosciences,

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