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Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine

Bachelor- and Master Theses

If capacities are free, projects for Bachelor and Master theses can be offered. However, this is at the discretion of the respective reasearch group. Please inform yourself about the scientific priorities of the individual research groups and contact the research group leader directly by email.

The Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine of the University of Würzburg is currently searching for a highly motivated

Master student (f/m)
(Biology / Biomedicine / Biophysics)
for a MASTER THESIS project
Mirror-enhanced STORM (meSTORM) in the field of cellular super-resolution microscopy

In a cross-disciplinary approach we combine high-resolution concepts of fluores-cence microscopy with tricks from material sciences.
The master thesis project involves optimization of the buffer environment for superresolution microscopy that enhances the fluorescence signal on our tailor-made biocompatible nanocoated coverslips. The overall goal is to resolve the architecture and dynamics of cytoskeletal (sub-)structures that are not accessi-ble using classic fluorescence imaging. The project particularly requires enthusiasm for biomolecular sciences and super-resolution microscopy.

Please, contact: katrin.heinze@virchow.uni-wuerzburg.de,
Prof. Dr. Katrin Heinze, RVZ, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2 (D15), 97080 Würzburg

Master thesis project in the Institute for Structural Biology at the Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine

The Grabarczyk group is looking for a motivated and enthusiastic Master student to work on the molecular mechanisms of the DNA replication stress response.

The progress of DNA replication forks is constantly hindered by DNA damage, metabolite depletion and conflicts with transcription. This results in stalled forks which must be stabilised to prevent destructive fork collapse and be signalled to block cell cycle progression under high-stress conditions. Replication stress is emerging as a major hallmark of cancer by linking increased cell proliferation to genomic instability.

Despite its pathophysiological importance, the mechanisms of the replication stress response are poorly understood. In part, this is because the replication fork is a highly dynamic and flexible assembly that is challenging to characterise structurally. To overcome this, we employ an integrative structural biology approach combining X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, biophysical techniques, peptide microarrays, atomic force microscopy and protein biochemistry. We have successfully implemented this approach to decipher the function of the Ctf18-RFC complex (Grabarczyk et al. Structure 2018).

This specific project will involve elucidating the function of the fork protection complex Tof1-Csm3 using a wide range of methods. The student will benefit from the productive, collaborative and international environment of the Institute for Structural Biology.

If interested, please contact Dr. Daniel Grabarczyk: daniel.grabarczyk@virchow.uni-wuerzburg.de