PhD Studentship in Computational Biology, Institute of Structural Biology and Biophysics (ISB-3), Germany

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The PhD position is available in the Young Investigator Group “Multiscale Modelling of Protein-Protein Interactions”, which is integrated in the Computational Biology Cluster of Young Investigator Groups at the Research Centre Jülich. The research in this group is supervised by Dr. Birgit Strodel and is mainly focused on the understanding and prediction of protein-protein interactions using computer simulations, giving special attention to the interactions governing the process of amyloid formation. The group is part of the Institute of Structural Biology and Biophysics (ISB-3) and collaborates closely with the experimental groups (Prof. Willbold and Prof. Heise) in this institute. Furthermore, the group has access to excellent computational facilities at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre.

Project description:
The focus of this PhD project is on the investigation of the interactions between Alzheimer’s Abeta peptide and aggregation inhibitors using molecular simulations. In the group of Prof. Dieter Willbold, also in Jülich, such aggregation inhibitors are investigated experimentally, and it was shown in mice that they indeed have the potential to cure Alzheimer’s disease. However, little to nothing is known how and why these inhibitors are effective.

The aim of this PhD project is to gain structural information about the Abeta/inhibitor complexes and elucidate the mechanism of the inhibition effect. Such information would be valuable in the search of drugs against Alzheimer’s disease. This project will involve a close collaboration with the experimental group of Prof. Dieter Willbold. One aim, for instance, is to match experimental and calculated NMR data, which would allow one to make structural predictions from molecular simulations.

Candidates are expected to hold a diploma or master degree with a background in physics, biophysics, chemistry, computational biology or a related field, should have first experiences with molecular simulations and should enjoy computational work. Programming skills and experiences with UNIX/Linux are advantageous.

The potential starting date could be between 1 August and 30 Septmber 2009.

Interested candidates should send their application, accompanied with a CV, transcripts from their undergraduate studies and the names of individuals which might give references by email to B. Strodel (b.strodel[ at ] before 10 July 2009.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and correct. However, applicants should contact the appropriate administering body before making an application, as details do change frequently.


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