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PhD student: Cryo-electron microscopy

Advertising institute: ICS-6 - Structural Biochemistry
Reference number: D146/2017, Physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or computer science

The Computational Structural Biology Group at the Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-6) has an opening for a PhD student position.

The group works on the broad topic of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), which includes both the application of cryo-EM to determine protein structures and the development of methods.

The focus of structure determination projects is on amyloid proteins that are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. These proteins typical form fibrils, but also other aggregates (e.g. oligomers and membrane receptor complexes) are studied.

The method development projects aim at image processing, molecular modeling and refinement of protein structures, in particular with low- or intermediate resolution data.

Potential PhD projects:

  • Determination of amyloid structures by cryo-EM in close collaboration with scientist from ICS-6 (Jülich) and the IPB at the Heinrich-Heine University (Düsseldorf).
  • New approaches for the classification of cryo-EM images of fibrils to improve helical reconstructions.
  • Extending our new software tool for de novo modeling of protein structures into low-resolution density maps.

Candidates should have a Master degree in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or computer science. All projects require a solid computational background. For method development projects, a solid programming background is required (C++ / Python). Experience in electron microscopy and/or image processing is an advantage.

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women. We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

The application should include a motivation letter, CV and names of three references and should be send by email to

Gunnar Schröder (
Computational Structural Biology Group
Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-6)
Forschungszentrum Jülich

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