Time Span as soon as possible for 3 years Application Deadline 27 Jan 2023 Financing yes Type of Position
Field of Research
Subjects Biochemistry Description Small RNAs participate in many aspects of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation events. This also includes aspects of genome maintenance, in particular the control of horizontally transferred genetic elements (transposons, viruses). We use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study how small RNAs are specifically generated, how the self vs. non-self distinction can be made in the genome and which biochemical phenomena contribute to the efficiency and specificity of small RNA biogenesis and function. With our model system, we have access to cell extracts + in vitro biochemistry, cell culture systems but also in vivo assays using mutant / transgenic / genome-edited flies.
Position 1: In our efforts to study the self vs. non-self distinction in the genome, we discovered that siRNAs are generated at DNA double-strand breaks, provided they occur in a region that is actively transcribed (Michalik et al. 2012). This appears to be connected to the spliceosome (Merk et al. 2017) and is due to RNA polymerase II initiating a transcript at the break (Bottcher et al. 2022). We now want to “build a molecular bridge” between the spliceosome and the antisense-running RNA polymerase. Our genome-wide screen has produced candidates for that (Merk et al. 2017), which we are following up with biochemical and genetic approaches (including deep sequencing of small RNAs + data analysis).
Position 2: The small RNAs that are involved in genome maintenance have specific requirements during their biogenesis. We discovered a particular splice variant of the dsRNA binding protein Loquacious (Loqs) that is required (Hartig et al. 2009) and constitutes an alternative version of an siRNA loading complex (Hartig et al. 2011, Tants et al. 2017). Our unpublished work has shown that the protein participates in a phase-separation phenomenon in living cells. We will use biochemical assays (e.g. proximity-based biotinylation), fluorescence microscopy and cell culture or transgenic flies to determine the composition of these condensates and the molecular consequences of their formation in vivo. Again, deep sequencing of small RNAs + data analysis will be an important tool to describe the molecular phenotype. I am looking forward to your application! Please introduce yourself briefly, join a CV and the contact information for two academic references in an email to
The University of Munich is an equal opportunity employer. Handicapped candidates with equal qualifications will be given preference; a part-time employment is in principle possible.
Language of Dissertation
More Information https: // www. genzentrum.uni- muenchen.de/career/foerstemannsmallrna2022/index.html