Research Assistant (Praedoc) (m/f/d) with 50 % part-time job limited to 4 years Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L FU Reference code: 21233400-01-23 Bewerbungsende: 13.02.2023

Research efforts in the department Biochemistry of Plant-Microbe Interactions are directed towards understanding how plants defend themselves against infection by pathogenic microbes such as bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. One focus of our group is to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate the spatial communication between the cytoplasm and the nucleus in cellular immunity of the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana.

We employ a broad spectrum of biochemical, genetic and genomic, cell biological and molecular approaches to study the transport of immune-regulatory proteins and RNAs across the nuclear compartment boundary through nuclear pore complexes, as well as transport-independent functions of nuclear pore complex proteins (NUPs) in defense gene expression and regulation.

Job description:
Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), composed of nucleoporin proteins (NUPs), perforate the double membrane of the nuclear envelope (NE) and have emerged as a strategic platform for regulating plant cellular responses to microbial pathogen attack. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms and the functional role of individual NUPs in regulating nucleocytoplasmic signal relay and gene expression outputs in plant immunity are far from comprehensive.

Using genetic screens in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, our previous work identified two defense-regulatory NUPs that mediate nuclear mRNA export and are involved in the regulation of gene expression. This PhD project aims to investigate detailed molecular functions of both NUPs in (epigenetic) gene regulation and plant immune responses to diverse pathogenic microbes. The project will also characterize the defense-related roles of genes that we recently identified in an RNAseq experiment to depend on the functions of both NUPs for full gene expression.

The proposed studies will utilize a combination of molecular, biochemical, (epi)genetic/genomic and cell biological approaches. The project involves the self-directed implementation and evaluation of biochemical, genetic/genomic, molecular and cell biological experiments as well as the conceptual development of the research project. The position includes teaching and serves for the scientific qualification of the candidate (PhD/Dr. rer. nat.).

Completed university degree in biology or biochemistry (Master)

– strong experimental background in molecular plant sciences, biochemistry, cell biology and/or (molecular) genetics
– knowledge of molecular plant-microbe interactions, experience in handling plant pathogenic microorganisms
– highly motivated and enthusiastic about the research field
– experience in protein biochemistry and epigenetic analyses
– experience in confocal microscopy incl. FLIM-FRET analyses
– excellent skills in spoken and written English
– capable to work independently in a team

For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Marcel Wiermer ( / +49 (0)30-838-71054).

Weitere Informationen

Applications should be sent by e-mail, together with significant documents, indicating the reference code, in PDF format (preferably as one document) to Prof. Dr. Marcel Wiermer: or postal to

Freie Universität Berlin
Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy
Institute of Biology
Biochemistry of Plant-Microbe Interactions
Königin-Luise-Str. 12-16
14195 Berlin

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