|| The research group of Prof. Dr. Andres Jaeschke at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB), Heidelberg University, offers 3-year PhD positions funded by a recently awarded ERC Advanced Grant. The candidates will study novel epitranscriptomic mechanisms of gene regulation by combining techniques of biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics.
The Jaeschke group is among the leading labs in epitranscriptomics, studying the role of natural RNA modifications in biology. By discovering and characterizing regulatory RNAs connected to the redox coenzyme NAD in various bacteria (Nature 2015, Nature Protocols 2017, Cell Reports 2018) we contributed to the establishment of a new field, directly linking redox biology and gene expression. We also reported the first enzyme that can remove this novel RNA modification (Nature Chemical Biology 2016). Recently, Prof. Jaeschke was awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council, providing generous funding for the next five years, starting in October 2020.
NAD is just one of many coenzymes and metabolic intermediates that share certain structural features. The aim of this project is to establish the scope and biological significance of coenzyme-linked RNAs in biology. We will expand our NAD captureSeq protocol to include reduced, phosphorylated, deamidated, and depyridinated NAD-RNAs. We will develop new capture methods to identify cellular RNAs modified with coenzyme A, flavin, thiamine, and N-acetylglucosamine. We will apply these protocols to RNAs isolated from different organisms to explore the occurrence, abundance, and structural variety of such RNAs. For selected modified RNAs, we will unravel the biological significance and biosynthesis.
Our team combines approaches from various fields, including genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, and mass spectrometry to define the functions and mechanisms of gene regulation by coenzyme-linked RNAs. Within this interdisciplinary project the PhD candidate will learn, develop, and apply state-of-the-art techniques ranging from transcriptome-wide profiling to detailed mechanistic studies.
We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated candidates who have a strong interest in RNA bio-chemistry and who would like to challenge textbook wisdom. The applicants should hold a Master's degree in molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology or a related discipline and should have demonstrated academic excellence in their studies. Initiative, creativity, team spirit, excellent English language skills and a solid background in molecular biology are essential traits. Practical experience in RNA biology, next-generation sequencing, and/or mass spectrometry is a bonus.
Team and environment:
The candidates will join a young, interactive, interdisciplinary and collaborative research team. Heidelberg University is one of the top research universities in Germany, and IPMB is a modern research institute working on cutting-edge projects in the life sciences. The positions are paid according to E13 (50%) TV-L and should be filled before the end of 2020.
Learn more about our group at jaschkelab.de . Informal inquiries can be directed to Prof. Dr. Andres Jaeschke. To formally apply, please use the online application system of the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School (HBIGS) at http://www.hbigs.uni-heidelberg.de .