PhD position: “Microtubule biology” Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) Heidelberg University

Microtubules are highly dynamic polymers that assemble at centrosomes, chromatin and pre-exiting microtubules. They are essential for cell organization including Golgi positioning, intracellular transport, cell migration and chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis. Shortly after assembly, microtubules become severed and capped at their minus end by stabilizing factors such as CAMSAP/Patronin. Here we will analyse how microtubules are spatially assembled in cells, how they become released from nucleation sites and captured at different sites such as the Golgi and subdistal appendages of centrosomes.

The PhD student will use biochemical approaches, super resolution microscopy (STED), electron microscopy (negative stain and cryo-EM), CRISPR/Cas9 technology and live cell imaging to study microtubules and associated proteins.

Highly motivated PhD students with a background in biochemistry, cell biology or molecular biology should apply. Successful candidates will be part of an international team of PhD students and postdocs that works at the forefront of scientific research. The PhD student will be a member of the Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology ( The PhD position is funded for 3 years.

Please send applications to E. Schiebel (schiebel.elmar [ aT ]


Relevant publications:

1 Lin, T. C et al. 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. pii:jcb.201606092 (2017).

2 Chinen, T. et al. The gamma-tubulin-specific inhibitor gatastatin reveals temporal requirements of microtubule nucleation during the cell cycle. Nat Commun 6, 8722, doi:10.1038/ncomms9722 (2015).

3 Lin, T. C. et al. Cell-cycle dependent phosphorylation of yeast pericentrin regulates gamma-TuSC-mediated microtubule nucleation. Elife 3, e02208, doi:10.7554/eLife.02208 (2014).

4 Gombos, L. et al. GTP regulates the microtubule nucleation activity of gamma-tubulin. Nat Cell Biol 15, 1317-1327, doi:ncb2863 [pii]10.1038/ncb2863 (2013).

5 Erlemann, S. et al. An extended γ-tubulin ring functions as a stable platform in microtubule nucleation. J Cell Biol 197, 59-74, doi:jcb.201111123 [pii]10.1083/jcb.201111123 (2012).



Lin, T. C., Neuner, A. & Schiebel, E. Targeting of gamma-tubulin complexes to microtubule organizing centers: conservation and divergence. Trends Cell Biol 25, 296-307, doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2014.12.002 (2015).