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Advertising division: ICS-4 - Cellular Biophysics
Reference number: D006/2018, Biophysics

PhD Position: Computational investigation of ion channels and transporters

We are looking for a PhD student to join our research group on ion channels and transporters.
Using a combination of molecular dynamics simulations, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and molecular biology, we investigate the structure–dynamics–function relationships of physiologically and clinically important membrane proteins. Furthermore, we study pathologic alterations of these proteins towards novel strategies to pharmacologically correct protein and cell function under disease conditions.
The PhD project will focus on permeation and selectivity mechanisms in ion channels, functional mechanisms of ligand and voltage activation, or operational principles of thermodynamically coupled transporters relevant to brain function.

Forschungszentrum Jülich is one of the largest interdisciplinary research centers in Europe, equipped with world-class high-performance computing resources at Jülich Supercomputing Centre. In addition, the Institute of Complex Systems 4 offers state-of-the-art methods to experimentally study ion channels and transporters.

Your Job:
You will investigate ion channels or transporters using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations under conditions similar to experiment, and collaborate with experimental electrophysiologists on a daily basis. Depending on your experience and skills, you may learn and conduct experiments (e.g. patch-clamp recordings) on your own.

Your profile:
You should have a strong interest the fields of biophysics and physiology, as well as in both computational and experimental methods to investigate membrane proteins. Knowledge of at least one programming language and basic experience with Unix-like operating systems are required. Experience in biochemical or biophysical methods, molecular modeling, or statistical mechanics will be a strong plus. Good communication skills in English are necessary.

Our offer:
We are a young, dynamic, and interdisciplinary research group with excellent computational and experimental equipment. We offer a PhD position for three years, including salary and all social benefits. You will be employed at Forschungszentrum Jülich, but obtain your PhD degree at RWTH Aachen University.
Applicants and successful candidates can also apply for membership in the International Helmholtz Research School of Biophysics and Soft Matter ( that provides a complementary research training at the interfaces of biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as transferable skills courses.

Please submit your enquiries and application (including letter of motivation, CV, names of at least two persons to be contacted as references, and examination results as pdf file) to

Dr. Jan-Philipp Machtens (
Computational Neurophysiology Group
ICS-4 – Cellular Biophysics
Forschungszentrum Jülich
52425 Jülich