The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin is the federal public health institute of Germany and a leading research institute on infectious diseases, including human parasites (www.rki.de).
PhD position in molecular biology /parasitology
part of the International Research Training Program (IRTG 2290) "Crossing boundaries - molecular interactions in malaria" at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin
The apicoplast is an essential plastid-like organelle of Plasmodium spp. and the related Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Its ferredoxin (Fd) redox system plays a central metabolic role as electron donor to enzymes via protein-protein interactions (PPI). The aim of the project is to study Fd’s PPIs to dissect its metabolic roles in the apicoplast and to elucidate in Plasmodium the role of reported Fd mutations in artemisinin resistance. These will be approached by genetic screens in E. coli for PPI inhibitors (i.e. cyclic peptide ‘dissociators’; Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 38, 30–35 (2017)) and their subsequent biophysical and in situ validation in the parasite on Fd’s function. These studies will be complemented with Fd gene knock-out in Plasmodium and assessment of artemisinin resistance with complemented mutants. For more information visit https://www.allianceberlincanberra.org/application-1/project-seeber/.
You should ideally have a profound theoretical as well as experimental background in molecular biology and/or biochemistry and techniques like DNA cloning, library constructions, cell transfections and/or protein analysis techniques. Substantial interests in biochemical questions paired with a strong ambition for innovative ideas are perfect matches to make this interesting project a success.
Proficiency in English is mandatory since the research project will involve work carried out in both Berlin and Canberra, with a one year stay in the partner labs at the Australian National University (ANU).
What we offer:
A PhD position for 3 years (TV-L E13 (65%) within the newly established DFG-funded International Research Training Program 2290 “Crossing boundaries - molecular interactions in malaria” (https://www.allianceberlincanberra.org/). PhD students will graduate with a dual PhD from both the Humboldt University and the Australian National University (ANU).