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Advertising division: ICS-4 - Cellular Biophysics
Reference number: 2019D-013, Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biomedicine, Physics, Pharmacy, Molecular Medicine

PhD Position: Experimental investigation of ligand-gated ion channels

In a joint project with the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at RWTH Aachen University, we are looking for a PhD student to join our research group on ion channels and transporters. In the frame of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG,, the PhD project will focus on ion permeation, functional mechanisms of ligand activation and subtype-specific ligand interactions in P2X receptors. Our joint research group uses a combination of molecular biology, electrophysiological experiments and molecular simulations to investigate the structure–dynamics–function relationships of ion channels and receptors and to understand how they can be targeted by drugs.

Your job:
You will investigate P2X receptors using structure-guided mutagenesis, electrophysiological experiments and molecular biology techniques in close collaboration with computational and structural biologists.

Your profile:

  • Highly motivated student holding with an M.Sc. (or equivalent) in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biomedicine, Physics, Pharmacy, Molecular Medicine or comparable
  • Strong interest in the biophysical investigation of membrane proteins
  • Experimental research experience in molecular biology techniques or cell culture
  • Experience in electrophysiological techniques (TEVC or patch-clamp techniques) is not required, but will be a plus
  • Problem-solving competence, commitment, and good communication skills in English

Our offer:
We offer a young, dynamic, and interdisciplinary research group with excellent experimental and computational equipment. 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, ICS-4 offers state-of-the-art methods to study membrane proteins. RWTH Aachen University has more than 40,000 students and almost 6000 academic staff members, representing one of the largest universities in Germany. The Department of Molecular Pharmacology offers state-of-the-art methods to study ligand-gated ion channels by electrophysiology and molecular biology techniques.

Please submit your enquiries and application (including a letter of motivation, CV, names of at least two persons to be contacted as references, and complete academic track record merged as one pdf file) to both:

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Jan-Philipp Machtens
Computational Neurophysiology (ICS-4 – Cellular Biophysics)
Forschungszentrum Jülich


PD Dr. Ralf Hausmann
Molecular Pharmacology
RWTH Aachen University

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