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Two Phd positions in computational biophysics on Cryptochrome-based magnetorecepetion

  • 7 Jul 2023
  • Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

The Quantum Biology and Computational Physics Group (Department of Physics) at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg offers
2 PhD-positions (m/f/d)
(TV-L E13 / 65 %)
for a maximum of three years each in the research project "Cryptochrome-based magnetoreception". The positions will ideally start as soon as possible and should lead to successful dissertations. The project is part of the DFG funded SFB 1372 "Magnetoreception and navigation in vertebrates: from biophysics to brain and behaviour".

The overall aim of project I is to carry out quantum mechanical simulations to guide behavioural studies and calcium imaging measurements of neuronal activity delivered through other projects of SFB 1372. The project aims to determine the optimum radiofrequency electromagnetic field conditions for probing the identity and magnetic properties of radicals in a cryptochrome magnetoreceptor in vivo. The project will also employ an information theory approach in combination with spin dynamics simulations to understand how a light-dependent magnetoreceptor could distinguish changes in light intensity from changes in magnetic field direction.

The overall aim of project II is to computationally determine the binding regimes of cryptochromes to cellular membranes as well as to the identified protein binding partners (including long wavelength opsins and subunits of the G protein). The project aims to determine whether activation of cryptochrome (formation of a radical pair) affects its interaction with binding partners, e.g. through structural rearrangements. This project will employ a combination of classical molecular dynamics simulations, machine learning techniques and quantum chemistry calculations.

The successful candidates will be jointly supervised by Prof. Dr Ilia Solov’yov (University of Oldenburg) and Prof. Peter Hore (University of Oxford, UK) and will make frequent visits to Oxford. More information on Prof. Hore’s research can be found here http://hore.chem.ox.ac.uk/index.shtml and here https://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/people/peter-hore. Information on the Department of Chemistry at Oxford is available here https://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/. More information about Prof. Solov’yov and his group can be found here http://www.quantbiolab.com.

From a successful candidate we expect an above-average academic university degree (e.g. Master’s) in Physics, Chemistry or a related subject and a strong interest in basic research in a collaborative research environment. We require a very good mastery of English reading and writing. The candidate must have a solid background in programming (e.g. in C++, Python, or Matlab) and a strong interest in biophysics. Experience with numerical simulations and/or molecular dynamics is advantageous.

Our group is located at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and is part of several collaborative centres of excellence. These collaborations will give you access to a very wide range of superb modern equipment, techniques and expertise and you will become part of a larger team working closely together on related questions. Basic knowledge of the German language is helpful in daily life, but is not a criterion for being accepted.

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increasing the percentage of women in science. Therefore, female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. According to § 21 III NHG (legislation governing Higher Education in Lower Saxony) preference will be given to female candidates in cases of equal qualification. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualification.
Please send your application preferred in a single pdf document (CV, letter of motivation, list of publications, university and high school certificates, names and phone numbers of at least two academic referees) to Prof. Dr. Ilia A. Solov’yov (ilia.solovyov@uni-oldenburg.de. University of Oldenburg, Faculty V, Institute of Physics, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Straße 9-11, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany.

All applications received before the 7th of July 2023 will be considered. We will start looking at the applications as soon as they are submitted and will consider further applications until the positions are filled.

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