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Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine

Job Offers

The following positions are currently available at the Rudolf Virchow Center:

Science

The ubiquitin signaling research group headed by Sonja Lorenz at Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine, Würzburg, Germany is recruiting a

PhD student (m/f/d)

The Lorenz lab explores the fundamental mechanisms of how posttranslational modifications encode specificity in cellular signaling with a particular focus on the ubiquitin system in tumorigenesis and infection. Our lab combines cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography with biophysical, biochemical, and cell biological analyses.

We are supported by the EMBO Young Investigator Program, the Emmy Noether Program of the German Research Foundation, the Mildred Scheel Cancer Center, research unit FOR2314 (“Therapeutic windows”), and the graduate training group GRK2243 (“Understanding ubiquitylation”). The successful candidate will have the opportunity to be affiliated with GRK2243 and investigate the structural mechanisms of an exciting class of enzymes essential for infectious disease.

The Rudolf Virchow Center is a highly competitive international research institute with an outstanding infrastructure. The Lorenz lab has in-house access to state-of-the-art instrumentation in cryo-EM (Titan Krios), X-ray crystallography, and an extensive range of modern biophysical and cell biological equipment. We are integrated into a stimulating environment that includes the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research, the Max Planck Research Group in Systems Immunology, the Biocenter, the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, and the University Hospital in Würzburg.

Würzburg is located in the beautiful, wine-growing area of Franconia, in proximity of Frankfurt (1 hour by train) and Munich (2 hours).

Applicants should have an MSc or equivalent degree in the life sciences or a related discipline and a passion for structural biology and protein biochemistry. Good English language skills are necessary; knowledge of German is not required.

The position can begin immediately or upon mutual agreement. Salary will be according to the German TVL scale. In case of equivalent qualifications, disabled applicants will be preferentially considered.

Applications and inquiries should be sent to Sonja Lorenz by email sonja.lorenz@virchow.uni-wuerzburg.de and include a letter of motivation stating research interests and expertise, a CV, and the contact information of at least two references. Application deadline: 30 September 2019. Review of applications will begin immediately until the position is filled.

Lorenz lab page

Follow on twitter: @SLorenzLab

Sonja Lorenz, PhD
Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine
University of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

The Thorn Laboratory at the University of Würzburg (Germany) is recruiting a

PhD candidate (m/f/d)
In crystallographic methods development

Macromolecular X-ray structures define molecular biology. However, the large discrepancy between the measured X-ray data and the structural models we use to interpret these data (as evidenced by residual values of 15-25%) clearly shows that something is amiss. This project aims to discover what is missing, using both practical experiments and ‘big data’ analyses (including machine learning). This knowledge will then be used to fundamentally improve how atomic structures of biological macromolecules are modeled and ultimately, enable structural biologists solve more borderline cases, extract more information from known biological structures, and to answer more challenging biological questions.

What we offer

We offer a 36-month full- or part-time position at the Rudolf-Virchow Center (RVZ) of the University Würzburg, the birthplace of X-rays, with a competitive TV-L salary. Your position is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as part of the project “Towards a better understanding of macromolecular X-ray structures”.

This rewarding and challenging research project will allow you to acquire skills in data analysis, software development, applied structural biology and its theoretical foundations. While often theoretical in nature, our work is deeply rooted in experiments: you will have access to state-of-the-art lab equipment and receive training in advanced macromolecular structure determination. Our group is well-connected and we maintain close ties with other method developers worldwide, giving you access to a wide range of skills and training opportunities. You will have the opportunity to visit our collaboration partners at Diamond Light Source, Oxfordshire, UK and others. Through the Würzburg Graduate School for Life Sciences (GSLS) you will have a personal thesis committee to guide you and you will benefit from an extensive transferable skill program, travel funding and administrative support.

You will have access to both national and public-service pension schemes (VBL), health care, and 30 days of holiday entitlement in addition to 13 annual public holidays in Bavaria. The JMU Welcome Center supports international candidates in finding accommodation as well as administrative matters - and the University also offers support for researchers with children, including flexible work hours and a kindergarten.

Your qualification profile

You should have a M.Sc. or equivalent in a physical, chemical, computational or other relevant subject or be due to complete your studies within 3 months of applying. We are looking for someone with a good working knowledge of Linux and Python and a basic understanding of crystallography (irrespective of the field, e.g. mineralogy, structural physics, biology or chemistry). Skills in statistical or image analysis, C++ and previous experience with machine learning are a bonus. You should be able to develop your own ideas, and have the necessary skills to successfully drive and complete a research project. You should be a good communicator, willing to talk about science and to instruct other students; a good command of English is a prerequisite. You will be expected to present your work both at in-house and international meetings, and to contribute on occasion to teaching and public outreach.

Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply. Disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualification.

Applications should be sent by e-mail as one single pdf-document including: cover letter, curriculum vitae (detailing any data analysis, programming or crystallographic qualifications, any software projects you contributed to and academic track-record), diplomas/certificates and 3 addresses of referees by October 13th, 2019 to andrea.thorn@uni-wuerzburg.de.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin
Universität Würzburg
Dr. Andrea Thorn
Josef-Schneider-Str. 2 / Haus D15
D-97080 Würzburg

Thorn lab page:
https://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/rvz/forschung/assoziierte-forschungsgruppen/ag-thorn/

 

The Thorn Laboratory at the University of Würzburg (Germany) is recruiting a

Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d)
in crystallographic data analysis and methods development 

Structures of biomolecules, such as the DNA double helix or protein drug targets, are usually solved with single-crystal diffraction data. However, these data are often flawed. We are looking to recruit a researcher to tackle this problem: You will undertake research in the group of Dr. Andrea Thorn to create new automatic and visual diagnostics for diffraction experiments, employing statistical data analysis and machine learning. This will enable us to improve measurements and processing of diffraction data, to establish major error sources and define new best practices for macromolecular diffraction experiments. For this project, collaboration was set up with four of the major diffraction facilities in Europe: the BESSY synchrotron in Berlin, the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, the ESRF in Grenoble as well as the European XFEL in Hamburg. You will visit these facilities regularly to develop and implement new diagnostics in close collaboration with the scientists there and publish your results in peer-reviewed journals.

What we offer

We offer a 30-month full- or part-time position at the Rudolf-Virchow Center (RVZ) of the University Würzburg, the birthplace of X-rays, with a competitive TVL salary; your position is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the AUSPEX project. This exciting project will allow you to define new quality standards in macromolecular structure determination and to establish a network in the European crystallographic community. Our group is well-connected and AUSPEX is part of the CCP4 suite for macromolecular crystallography.

The RVZ is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training and development opportunities will be available to you, including career support. You will have access to both national and public-service pension schemes (VBL), health care, and 30 days of holiday entitlement in addition to 13 annual public holidays in Bavaria. The JMU Welcome Center supports international candidates in finding accommodation as well as administrative matters - and the University also offers support for researchers with children, including flexible work hours and a kindergarten.

Your qualification profile

You should have a doctoral degree in a physical, computational, chemical or other relevant subject or be due to complete your doctoral studies within 3 months of applying. You should be able to develop your own ideas, and have the necessary skills to successfully drive and complete a research project, both working independently and as part of a team. We are looking for someone with a good working knowledge of Linux, Python and C++. You should be able to develop your own ideas, and have the necessary skills to successfully drive and complete a research project, both working independently and as part of a team. We are looking for someone with a good working knowledge of Linux, Python and C++. You should be good at data analysis, ideally including experience with the statistical package R, image analysis and machine learning. You should already have experience with crystallography or be willing to learn both its theoretical basis as well as its practical application on the job. Due to the collaborative nature of this project, you should be a good communicator; an excellent command of English is a prerequisite. You will be expected to present your work both at in-house and international meetings, and to contribute to teaching.

Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply. Disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualification.

Applications should be sent by e-mail as one single pdf-document including: cover letter, curriculum vitae (including any software projects you contributed to, a detailed list of programming and data analysis qualifications, crystallographic skills (if any), teaching experience and academic track-record), diplomas/certificates and 3 addresses of referees by October 13th, 2019 to  andrea.thorn@uni-wuerzburg.de.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum
Universität Würzburg
Dr. Andrea Thorn
Josef-Schneider-Str. 2 / Haus D15
D-97080 Würzburg

Thorn lab page // Latest  press release

Why do your postdoc in Germany?