PhD position in membrane fusion research


Regulated exocytosis requires a cascade of reactions that harness the basic membrane fusion machinery consisting of v-SNAREs on secretory vesicles and t-SNAREs on the plasma membrane. Both lipids and proteins form together regulatory networks that control distinct steps of the fusion process. We use in vitro assays (reconstituted liposomes containing purified proteins and native synaptic vesicles) to dissect distinct steps such as vesicle tethering, docking, fusion pore formation and opening. Biochemical methods and fluorescence microscopy, including single molecule imaging, are used as functional read out systems. In in vivo exocytosis assays, we manipulate the protein composition using RNAi and protein overexpression. In collaboration with other research groups, we try to gain structural insights into membrane fusion by cryo-electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and x-ray crystallography.

Further reading (reviews) Malsam, J., Kreye, S., Söllner, T.H. (2008). Membrane fusion: SNAREs and regulation. Cell. Mol. Life. Sci. 65, 2814-2832.


Application requirements We are looking for highly motivated students, who show both independence and team spirit. You should be interested in protein biochemistry, membrane biology, and be willing to become familiar with cutting edge technology. The position is immediately available.

Please send your curriculum vitae, a brief letter of motivation, and the names of references to the adress below.


Contact: Thomas Söllner Office +49 (0)6221 / 54 5342 (Fax) +49 (0)6221 / 54 5341 thomas.soellner [ aT ]