Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Schiebel0518 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Schiebel, Elmar
Application deadline:
30. Nov 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. Jan 2019

Project description:

Microtubule assembly – a universal toolbox for track building
Microtubules are highly dynamic polymers with essential functions in chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, intracellular organization, cell motility and neurogenesis. Microtubule malfunction is associated with cancer, infertility and neurological diseases.

Cells have developed mechanisms for the assembly of microtubules from their building block, the alpha/beta-tubulin heterodimer. The activity of the basic assembly machinery, the gamma-tublulin ring complex, is modulated in time and space by a toolbox of accessory factors, for example microtubule polymerases. In this project we aim to understand when and where these co-factors come in place and how their functions are changed in cancer and adapted in specific cell types, for example neurons.

Please send applications (CV, motivation letter, two references, bachelor and master transcripts) to E. Schiebel (
Gunzelmann J, Ruthnick D, Lin TC, Zhang W, Neuner A, Jakle U, Schiebel E (2018) The microtubule polymerase Stu2 promotes oligomerization of the gamma-TuSC for cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation. Elife 7

Lin TC, Neuner A, Flemming D, Liu P, Chinen T, Jakle U, Arkowitz R, Schiebel E (2016) MOZART1 and gamma-tubulin complex receptors are both required to turn gamma-TuSC into an active microtubule nucleation template. J Cell Biol 215: 823-840

Lin TC, Neuner A, Schiebel E (2015) Targeting of gamma-tubulin complexes to microtubule organizing centers: conservation and divergence. Trends Cell Biol 25: 296-307

Lin TC, Neuner A, Schlosser YT, Scharf AN, Weber L, Schiebel E (2014) Cell-cycle dependent phosphorylation of yeast pericentrin regulates gamma-TuSC-mediated microtubule nucleation. Elife 3: e02208

Gombos L, Neuner A, Berynskyy M, Fava LL, Wade RC, Sachse C, Schiebel E (2013) GTP regulates the microtubule nucleation activity of gamma-tubulin. Nat Cell Biol 15: 1317-27

Erlemann S, Neuner A, Gombos L, Gibeaux R, Antony C, Schiebel E (2012) An extended γ-tubulin ring functions as a stable platform in microtubule nucleation. J Cell Biol 197: 59-74

Knop M, Schiebel E (1998) Receptors determine the cellular localization of a γ-tubulin complex and thereby the site of microtubule formation. EMBO J 17: 3952-3967
Methods that will be used:
The PhD student will use biochemical approaches, super resolution microscopy (STED and SIM), cryo-electron microscopy, CRISPR/Cas9 technology for genomic knockins and knockouts and live cell imaging to study microtubule assembly.
Cooperation partners:
Successful candidates will be part of an international team of PhD students and postdocs that works at the forefront of scientific research.
Personal qualifications:
Highly motivated PhD students with a background in biochemistry, cell biology or molecular biology should apply.