A PhD position is available from April1st, 2018, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark under the NordForskfunded project “The structure of membrane proteins under solution conditions”.
The project will be supervised by Prof.Lise Arleth (LA) at the Section for X-ray and Neutron Science, Niels BohrInstitute and Prof. Kresten Lindorff-Larsen (KLL) at the Linderstrøm-LangCentre for Protein Science, Department of Biology, both at the University ofCopenhagen. LA’s group focuses on X-ray and neutron small-angle scattering analyseson biomolecular structures and the associated modelling and data analysis.KLL’s group use molecular simulations and develop methods for integration of simulationswith experimental data. Both research groups are highly interdisciplinary andinternational, and the PhD candidate will work in a vibrant and engagingresearch environment.
The goal of the project is to obtaininsight into subtle interplay between a membrane protein and its local lipidmembrane and aqueous environments. The project combines molecular dynamicssimulations and small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering to investigate theirmolecular structures. The central focus of the project will be to develop novelMolecular Dynamics based strategies for the structural analysis of small-anglescattering data of membrane protein systems. The project will also include developingnovel statistical tools for the integration of heterogeneous sources of datawith computer simulations.
The PhD project is part of a larger Nordforsk-fundedproject that is executed collaboratively also with the research groups of AssocProf Marie Skepö (MS), Department of Chemistry at Lund University and Prof JensPreben Morth (PM), Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway at Oslo University.
The candidate will work with all fourgroups but be anchored at the Structural Biophysics group at the Section forX-ray and Neutron Science at the Niels Bohr Institute, with Prof Arleth as themain supervisor and Prof Lindorff-Larsen as the co-supervisor. The four groupscombine membrane protein molecular and structural biology (PM), X-ray andneutron small-angle scattering methods, SAXS and SANS (LA and MS), andatomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to probe the structureand dynamics of biological molecules (KLL and MS), and development of methodsfor advanced data analysis (KLL and LA).
The key molecular target of the project isthe ATP driven magnesium transporter A, MgtA, from E. coli. The functioning of MgtA is, like for most other membraneproteins, closely linked to the properties of the surrounding lipid membraneand aqueous environments. The PhD project will combine experimental data,obtained in collaboration with PM’s group with molecular simulations conductedin parallel by the LA/KLL and MS groups to shed further light on the relevantprocesses. The project will focus on MD supported model development ofmembrane-solvent interaction and development of approaches for validation ofthe simulations against combined SAXS and contrast variation SANS on e.g.phospholipid bilayer vesicles and nanodiscs. The project will then expand thissuch that the SAXS/SANS data analysis and modelling of the MgtA can be handled,including incorporation of correct descriptions of protein-water,membrane-water and membrane-protein interfaces.
Outstanding candidates with a strongbackground in physics, mathematics (applied or mathematical modelling), chemistryor biochemistry are preferred. Strong quantitative skills are essential and theideal candidate has research interests and/or qualifications in one or more ofthe following areas:
-Numerical competences, includingprogramming experience and ability to set up advanced computer-simulations andhandle large data sets
-Experience in computational aspects of proteinchemistry, including hands-on experience in molecular dynamics simulations (atomisticand/or coarse-grained)
-Researchexperience with small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering on biological samples,preferably membrane protein and/or lipid membrane systems
Applicants must document their successfulMSc studies by a high grade point average. If the applicant’s MSc work hasresulted in a publication (accepted or in draft) this is considered a strongadvantage. Candidates must have good interpersonal and communication skills. ExcellentEnglish writing skills are a requirement.
PhDsupervisors: Prof Lise Arleth (main supervisor),Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Prof KrestenLindorff-Larsen (co-supervisor), Department of Biology, University ofCopenhagen (email@example.com).
Your key tasks as a PhD student at Scienceare:
Manage and carry through yourresearch project
Take PhD courses
Write scientific articles andyour PhD thesis
Participate in workshops andconferences
Stay at an external researchinstitution for a few months, preferably abroad
Teach and disseminate yourresearch
Key criteria for the assessment of candidates:
A master’s degree related to the subjectarea of the project (Physics, Mathematics, Biochemistry, Chemistry or relatedfields).
Specificcompetences relevant to the project. See above list.
The grade pointaverage achieved
Professionalqualifications relevant to the PhD programme
Formal requirements: The position isavailable for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master’sdegree.
The successful applicant of the PhDscholarship must pass an enrolment in the SCIENCE Graduate School before theFaculty of Science can complete the letter of employment.
Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandumon Job Structure for Academic Staff. Terms of appointment and payment accord tothe agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation ofProfessional Associations on Academics in the State.
The starting salary is currently at aminimum DKK 317,448 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43,848).Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
Theapplication, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLYNOW
Cover Letter detailing yourmotivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
Diploma and transcripts ofrecords (BSc and MSc)
Other information forconsideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
Full contact details (Name,address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees
Documentation of Englishlanguage qualifications, cf. general rules and guidelines, p. 5
Please note that applicants must upload thefull application including all of the above sections as a single .pdf file,even if the on-line application system does not explicitly ask this. Pleasechoose the section “application” for upload of the full application
The applicant will be assessed according tothe Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no. 1039 of27 August 2013 PhD Order.
The University wishes our staff to reflectthe diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualifiedcandidates regardless of personal background.
The deadline for applications is March 9, 2018. Applicationsreceived later than this date will not be considered
After the expiry of the deadline forapplications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants forassessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. All applicants are thenimmediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessmentby an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of thecomposition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to commenton the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant himself/herself.Thefinal selection of successful candidates will be made by the Head ofDepartment, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee.
Generalinformation about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at PhD Regulations
For specific information about the PhDscholarship, please contact supervisors, Lise Arleth at firstname.lastname@example.org andKresten Lindorff-Larsen at email@example.com.
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.
Deadline: 9 March 2018
Unit: Det Natur- og Biovidenskabelige Fakultet
Campus: Det Natur- og Biovidenskabelige Fakultet
Read the job description and apply online
Post expires on Friday March 9th, 2018