Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Oezbek0318 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Özbek, Suat
Application deadline:
25. Feb 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Mar 2019

Project description:

Molecular evolution of cnidarian organelles
Our group at the Centre of Organismal Studies (COS), Heidelberg, focuses on the molecular evolution of extracellular matrix and signaling factors. We are working with the model organism Hydra, a member of the basal metazoan group of cnidarians, which is famous for its unparalleled regenerative capacity.
Here, we are looking for PhD student, who is interested in analyzing the evolutionary origin of collagen molecules and other ECM factors in the mesoglea and specialized organelles of Hydra. The offered project blends proteomic screens with high-resolution imaging of expression patterns and functional knock-down (siRNA, CRISPR/Cas) as well as biochemical studies.
The PhD position is fully funded by the DFG for 3 years and payment is according to TV-L.
Ballistic “nematocysts” in dinoflagellates represent a new extreme in organelle complexity. Sci. Adv. 2017;3: e1602552.

Minicollagen cysteine-rich domains encode distinct modes of polymerization to form stable nematocyst capsules. Sci Rep. 6:25709.
A fast recoiling silk-like elastomer facilitates nanosecond nematocyst discharge. BMC biology. 13:3.

Proteome of Hydra nematocyst. J Biol Chem. Mar 23;287(13):9672-81.
Morphological and molecular analysis of the Nematostella vectensis cnidom. PLoS One.;6(7):e22725.

Nematogalectin, a nematocyst protein with GlyXY and galectin domains, demonstrates nematocyte-specific alternative splicing in Hydra. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 26;107(43):18539-44.

A non-sulfated chondroitin stabilizes membrane tubulation in cnidarian organelles. J Biol Chem. Aug 13;285(33):25613-23.

Continuous molecular evolution of protein domain structures by single amino acid changes. Current Biology, January 23;17:173-178.
Methods that will be used:
molecular biology, protein biochemistry, proteomics, bioinformatics, immunocytochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, in situ hybridization.
Cooperation partners:
Personal qualifications:
Experience in bioinformatics, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, and advanced light microscopy. Experience with cnidarian model systems is advantageous, but not compulsory. We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled candidate with genuine interest in evolutionary biology.

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