Positions

RTG2900 position

The HOLTHUIS LAB invites applications for a

PhD student (f/m/d)

to work on

“Interrogating plasma membrane permeabilization and repair at nanoscale”

Project background

A controlled permeabilization of cells to facilitate cytosolic delivery of synthetic peptides and other biomolecules would greatly benefit the development of novel therapeutics but also poses a major challenge to medicinal chemistry. Various synthetic carriers that affect non-lytic membrane passage of bioactive cargos have been reported. However, insights into how these carriers disrupt the membrane barrier and how cells respond to this breach in structural integrity have remained elusive owing to a lack of experimental approaches enabling selective interrogation. The successful candidate will join the DFG-funded Research Training Group RTG-2900 “nanomaterials@biomembranes” to investigate novel supramolecular materials for their capacity to promote plasma membrane passage of peptide cargo and trigger membrane damage response pathways. Toward this end, surface architectures of membrane bilayer-destabilizing supramolecular materials will be combined with super-resolution live cell imaging technologies to interrogate cargo transport and membrane repair-associated lipid scrambling at confined sites of cell permeabilization. Besides contributing to the development of novel strategies for the cytosolic delivery of polar therapeutics, the project should also help elucidate how cells exploit Ca2+-activated lipid scramblases to detect and clear minor lesions in their membranes.

Key references: Barba-Bon et al., 2022, Nature 603, 637-642; Niekamp et al., 2022, Nature Comm 13, 1875; Sokoya et al., 2022, eLife 11, e79278; Holthuis & Menon, 2014, Nature 510, 48-57

Required qualifications

  • Completed degree (M.Sc.) in biology, (bio)chemistry or biophysics
  • Solid background in assay development ideally combined with expertise in live cell microscopy
  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research
  • Ability to work in a team and willingness to engage in multilateral research cooperation
  • Very good command of written and spoken English

We offer

  • A cutting-edge research project at the interface of lipid cell biology, nanotechnology and super-resolution live cell imaging approaches
  • State-of-the-art instrumental infrastructure in a cooperative working environment (CellNanOS; https://www.cellnanos.uni-osnabrueck.de/en)
  • Integration into a structured, tailor-made PhD and qualification program (https://www2.uni-osnabrueck.de/rtg2900/en/)
  • Intensive and interdisciplinary supervision by project leaders and methodological experts
  • Collegial cooperation in an interdisciplinary and international research team working on fundamental and disease-relevant aspects of lipid cell biology

Conditions of employment

  • The application deadline is 30 June 2024. The position will be filled as soon as possible
  • The position is fixed for a period of 3 years
  • Salary is at the E13/65% level according to the German TV-L scale
  • UOS is a family-friendly university and committed to helping working/studying parents balance their family and working lives
  • UOS seeks to ensure equal opportunities for women and men and strives to correct any gender imbalance in its schools and departments
  • If two candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to the candidate with disability status

How to apply

Applications including an informative letter of motivation, CV, certificates (BA/MA incl. Transcripts of Records) as well as the names and contact details of two academic referees should be sent as a single PDF-document until June 30th, 2024 to Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis (holthuis@uos.de).

 

Display item Recon4IMD position 2.png

The HOLTHUIS LAB invites applications for a

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d)

to work on

“Lipid Network Reconstruction and Computational Modeling for

Inherited Metabolic Diseases”

Your duties

The position is embedded in Recon4IMD, an EU-funded consortium of membrane biochemists, systems biologists, clinical researchers and patient organizations who seek to accelerate the diagnosis of inherited metabolic diseases (IMDs) by personalized genomic, proteomic and metabolomic data-driven computer models (www.recon4imd.org). For modeling IMDs that affect lipid metabolism (e.g. Gaucher, Niemann-Pick), the successful candidate will collaborate with computational biologists and bioinformaticians to reconstruct the highly interconnected and compartmentalized lipid metabolic network. Databases and biochemical literature on lipid metabolic enzymes, transporters and lipidomes will be curated to reconstruct the differentiated lipid composition of organellar bilayers in disease-relevant cell types and organs (e.g. macrophages, liver, brain) as well as the localization of hydrophobic reactions to each membrane and biofluid compartment. In parallel, isotope labeling experiments with patient-derived cell lines will be combined with organellar lipidomics to infer the impact of IMDs on the lipid metabolic network, evaluate computational data, and explore options for therapeutic intervention. Collectively, these efforts will enable Recon4IMD to develop the most advanced metabolic models in the field of systems biology for the diagnosis and management of IMDs.
Key references: Sokoya et al., 2022, eLife 11, e79278; Thiele et al., 2020, Molecular Systems Biology 16, e8982; Pekkinen et al., 2019, JCI Insight 4, e126180; Holthuis and Menon, 2014, Nature 510, 48-57

Required qualifications

  • PhD degree in biology, biochemistry or bioinformatics
  • Solid background in lipid cell biology, membrane biochemistry and/or biomolecular mass spectrometry
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Strong communication skills and ability to initiate productive collaborations across a pan-European network of research institutes, academic hospitals and patient organizations
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken

We offer

  • A cutting-edge research project at the interface of membrane enzymology, medical biochemistry and systems biology with ample opportunities for developing an extensive academic network
  • State-of-the-art instrumental infrastructure in a cooperative working environment (CellNanOS; https://www.cellnanos.uni-osnabrueck.de/en)
  • Participation in the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1557 „Functional plasticity of cellular membrane networks” and its support programs (https://irtg.uni-osnabrueck.de/application/sfb-1557.html)
  • Collegial cooperation in an interdisciplinary and international research team working on fundamental and disease-relevant aspects of lipid cell biology
  • UOS is located in the historical town of Osnabrück, the only German city situated in a national park

Conditions of employment

  • The application deadline is January 31st 2024. The position will be filled as soon as possible
  • The position is temporarily limited until 31.05.2027
  • Salary is at the E13/100% level according to the German TV-L scale
  • UOS is a family-friendly university and committed to helping working/studying parents balance their family and working lives
  • UOS seeks to ensure equal opportunities for women and men and strives to correct any gender imbalance in its schools and departments
  • If two candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to the candidate with disability status

How to apply

Applications including an informative letter of motivation, curriculum vitae with list of publications as well as the names and contact details of two academic referees should be sent as a single PDF-document by January 31st, 2024 to Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis (holthuis@uos.de). Further information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis (holthuis@uos.de; Phone +49 541 969 7140).