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Applications are invited for one Postdoc position and three PhD student positions available spring 2019 in the Computational Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Molecular Bioinformatics group (Prof. Dr. Holger Gohlke; http://cpclab.uni-duesseldorf.de ) at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.

Position D1/19: Postdoc position on “Computational biotechnology: Bio-based production of intermediates for polyurethane”

Topic: Within the scope of the BMEL-funded project "Bio4PUR Pro", a process already proven in the laboratory for bio-based production of intermediates for polyurethane will be further optimized. Within a consortium of two industrial partners and three universities, our aim is to optimize existing enzymes of the metabolic pathway by means of computational biotechnology and protein engineering with regard to substrate binding and regulation of the enzymes, so that they can be incorporated into the microorganisms for intermediate production to increase titers and yields.

Availability: The position is available as of 1.3.2019 for a duration of 21 months.

Requirements: Ideal candidates will have a record of excellence (PhD plus publications in highly visible journals) and a strong background in computational (bio-)chemistry, computational structural biological, molecular simulations, and molecular informatics as well as a high interest in working in an interdisciplinary research field.

Position D2/19: PhD student position on “Reactive Metabolites from Drugs: Generation and Impact Prediction by Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysical Chemistry

Topic: Drugs undergo metabolic reactions in the human body by which Reactive Metabolites (RMs) are produced with the help of cytochrome P450 enzymes. Within the scope of a BMBF-funded project in collaboration with a scientific partner in India, we intend to address the central question how and which RMs can be generated by metabolic processes from drugs and drug candidates, and how they will act physiologically. We intend to answer this question by combining in a synergistic manner bioinformatics and computational biophysical chemistry to reach an understanding at the atomistic level that is needed as a basis for reliable future predictions.

Availability: The position is available as of 1.4.2019.

Requirements: Ideal candidates will have a record of excellence and a strong background in computational (bio‑)chemistry, computational structural biological, molecular simulations, and molecular informatics as well as a high interest in working in an interdisciplinary research field. Candidates must be willing to spend some months of research time in India.

Position D3/19: PhD student position on “Hybrid approach to predict super-tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins and protein complexes in cells”

Topic: Many biological processes, particularly in eukaryotic organisms, are controlled by multi-domain proteins interacting with each other in complex ways. Knowledge of these super-tertiary and quaternary structures is key to understanding and modulating the functions and pathways controlled by such proteins. However, important structural and functional features of macromolecules that depend on their native network of interactions within the cell may be lost by traditional in vitro structural biology. Accordingly, the aim of this BMBF-funded project is to develop a fully automated computational workflow to predict high quality models of super-tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins and protein complexes in a cellular context, using meta-approaches that combine multiple computational structure prediction methodologies and sources of available biological information. In particular, experimental information from SAXS and FRET experiments shall be used to validate and guide model building.

Availability: The position is available as of 1.4.2019.

Requirements: Ideal candidates will have a record of excellence and a strong background in computational (bio‑)chemistry, computational structural biological, data science, and machine learning as well as a high interest in working in an interdisciplinary research field. Candidates must have proven programming skills.

Position D4/19: PhD student position “Hereditary Intrahepatic Cholestasis Translational Network: Prediction and categorization of the biological consequences of cholestasis-associated mutations

Topic: Variants in more than one functionally related genes may underlie the clinical phenotype of early- or late-onset intrahepatic cholestasis. Hence, categorization of these defects with respect to biological consequences by in silico and in vitro models as well as comparison to clinical phenotypes is mandatory to explore new drug-based therapeutic strategies. Within this BMBF-funded project, a consortium of clinicians, geneticists, biochemists, and computational chemists thus aims at identification of mutations underlying severe forms of hereditary intrahepatic cholestasis, genotype-phenotype analysis through establishment of a clinical registry, prediction and categorization of the biological consequences of selected mutations by in silico and in vitro approaches, characterization of the biological consequences of selected mutations ex vivo, and identification of compensatory mechanisms for detective bile secretion, which could be targeted as therapeutic approach.

Availability: The position is available as of 1.5.2019.

Requirements: Ideal candidates will have a record of excellence and a strong background in (computational) (bio‑)chemistry, computational structural biological, and molecular informatics as well as a high interest in working in an interdisciplinary research field.

Application process

Applicants should submit applications (a one-page letter of motivation why they are interested in the respective project and how they can contribute to the project’s success, a current CV, and contact data of three references) by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please provide all documents as one PDF file and use the position ID (D{1-4}/19) in the subject of the email.

Detailed information about living and studying in Düsseldorf is provided here: http://www.uni-duesseldorf.de/home/leben-in-duesseldorf.html