PhD student (f/m/d) for a position:

University of Heidelberg
February 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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PhD student (f/m/d) for a position:

“Microtubule nucleation – the role of actin”

The laboratory of Prof. Dr. Elmar Schiebel at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Heidelberg University is seeking a

PhD student (f/m/d) for a position: “Microtubule nucleation – the role of actin”

The position is to be filled in with 23,7 hours/week (60%) with starting date based on mutual agreement.

Microtubules are highly dynamic polymers of alpha/beta-tubulin with essential functions in chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, intracellular organization, cell motility and neurogenesis. Microtubules are targets for anticancer agents, for example Paclitaxel. Microtubule malfunction is associated with cancer, infertility and neurological diseases.

Cells use γ-tubulin complexes for the assembly of microtubules from alpha/beta-tubulin subunits in space and time. We have resolved the cryo-EM structure of the large vertebrate γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC) composed of over 30 subunits (Liu et al., Nature 2019). Unexpectedly, we identified actin as a component of the γ-TuRC embedded within the γ-TuRC by interacting with MZT1, GCP6 and γ-tubulin. Initial experiments indicate that this actin molecule has a role in γ-TuRC dependent microtubule assembly in cells (Würtz et al., Nat Comm 2022).

In this project we aim to understand the role of actin in the γ-TuRC. The PhD student will be using a broad range of techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy, CRISPR/Cas9 technology for genomic knockins, recombinant expression of the γ-TuRC in insect cells and live cell imaging to study microtubule properties.

Your tasks:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project
  • Complete required PhD courses
  • Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project.
  • Your profile:

  • Master degree in biochemistry or cell biology.
  • Fluency in English and excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • We offer an international and attractive work environment. The salary is based on TV-L scale (E13). The position is limited to two years, with the possibility of extension.

    Successful candidates will be part of an international team of PhD students and postdocs that works at the forefront of scientific research. The PhD student (m/w/d) will be a member of the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School (HBIGS) (www.

    Applications should be sent to Prof. Dr. Elmar Schiebel ( in one single PDF-file that includes CV, a letter of motivation, copy of bachelor and master transcripts and name of 2 referees.

    Mailing address: Prof. Dr. Elmar Schiebel, ZMBH, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany. We ask for your understanding that application documents received by post will not be returned.

    For literature on this topic, please follow this link to our website:


    Closing date for applications: 15.02.2023.

    Heidelberg University stands for equal opportunities and diversity. Qualified female candidates are especially invited to apply. Persons with severe disabilities will be given preference if they are equally qualified. Information on job advertisements and the collection of personal data is available at www.

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