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Date: Tue Oct 22 06:48:25 2019
Subject: 19.10.22 PhD Position in Theoretical and Computational Membrane Biophysics, Erlangen, Germany
PhD Positions in Theoretical and Computational Membrane Biophysics
 at Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Applications are invited for PhD positions in theoretical and computational membrane biophysics in 
the Computational Biology Group of Rainer Boeckmann at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 

Plasma membranes and in general biomembranes establish and maintain differences in composition 
between the cell or organelle interior and exterior. Biomembranes are the site for cell-cell recognition, 
they allow active and passive transport of material into and out of the cell, and they harbour proteins 
as initiators of signal transduction pathways. 
Projects within the international group focus on lipid-protein interaction, membrane dynamics, 
membrane phase transition, structure-dynamics-function relationship of membrane channels using 
methods from statistical and computational physics, i.e. atomistic and coarse-grained molecular 
dynamics simulations. The aim is to shed light on the cooperative action of proteins and lipids in 
shaping biomembrane structure and their contribution to micro-scale compartmentalization. 

Possible PhD Projects: 
(1) The doctoral researcher will study the role of peptide-lipid interactions in membrane 
fusion. Central questions are: How to peptides induce membrane curvature, what is the role of lipid 
composition and peptide oligomerization in synaptic vesicle fusion? Which molecular mechanisms 
are involved in spatial control and assembly?
(2) This project focuses on the mechanical properties of biomembrane mimetics and the 
domain-dependent sorting of membrane proteins. The aim is to decipher the driving forces involved 
in sorting, signal transduction and transport through biological membranes.

Candidates should preferably hold a master in bio-/physics, theoretical/computational chemistry, 
or similar, have a good knowledge of statistical mechanics, programming skills and a strong interest 
in interdisciplinary projects. 

Other requirements
High level of English and good communication skills; effective team working.

We offer 
3 years PhD contract and a competitive salary (65% E13).

Interested candidates should send one pdf document containing a cover letter, CV, and certificates 
to rainer.boeckmann(_)  For further information please visit

About Erlangen:
The University of Erlangen-Nuemberg (FAU) was founded in 1743 and currently has about 37,000 
students.The Faculty of Sciences is located in Erlangen, a city with a historic baroque centre which is 
located  amidst a splendid landscape close to the rocky hills and lovely forests of the Fraenkische 
The cities of Nuremberg (a traditional centre of arts and commerce since medieval times) and 
Bamberg (a UNESCO world heritage town) lie about 20 km to the south and 40 km to the north, 
respectively. Bayreuth(renowned for the world-famous opera composer Richard Wagner and the 
according festival) is about 80 km away, while Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, the other large cities 
of southern Germany, can all be reached within about 2 hours journey by train or car. One of 
Erlangens best known and most loved attractions is the Bergkirchweih, a beer festival in spring, 
which attracts around 1 million visitors from near and far. For more extracurricular activities in and 
around Erlangen see link to main webpage of FAU.

In the wider world, Erlangen is also renowned both as home to the second largest university in Bavaria 
and as one of the three headquarters of Siemens AG which both contribute substantially to the high 
living standard in and around the city. With its broad range of additional privately and publicly 
funded research facilities and many start-up high-tech companies Erlangen and its surroundings 
have developed into an important European R&D centre in several future-oriented areas of 
engineering, including medical systems, microelectronics, audio (Fraunhofer IIS, Dolby), 
multimedia and communications (e.g. Intel Comneon, Alcatel-Lucent).

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