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2 PhD Researchers to work on "Cracking the sphingolipid code"

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University of Osnabrueck


• The successful candidates will participate in a DFG-funded research project aimed at elucidating cellular functions of sphingolipids, in particular regarding their self-organizing potential and dual roles in cell proliferation and apoptotic signalling
• PhD project #1: use of photoswitchable sphingolipids to manipulate subcellular sphingolipid pools with the spatiotemporal precision of light as novel approach towards a better understanding of how sphingolipid precursor ceramide exerts its tumor suppressor activity
• PhD project #2: use of ‘switchable’ sphingolipid transfer proteins and biosynthetic enzymes to acutely disrupt cellular sphingolipid/sterol gradients and address fundamental concepts in lipid-coupled protein sorting in the secretory pathway


• A university degree (M.Sc. or diploma) in molecular cell biology, biochemistry or biophysics
• Solid background in assay development and expertise in membrane biochemistry or CRISPR-mediated genome editing
• Structured and independent way of working
• Ability to work in a team
• Perseverance and aspiration to work in a strongly interdisciplinary research environment
• Good command in spoken and written English


• An exciting and highly topical research project
• Integration in the Interdisciplinary Research Center CellNanOS ( as well as in the Collaborative Research Center 944 „Physiology and dynamics of cellular microcompartments“ and its internal education and research programmes
• Collaboration in an interdisciplinary and international research team working on several research projects that center on molecular membrane biology and evolutionary aspects of lipid cell biology
• A 3-year contract, with an anticipated 1-year extension

Osnabrück University has been certified as a family-friendly university committed to helping working/studying parents and carers balance their family and work life.

The university aspires to ensure equal opportunities for men and women and strives to work towards a gender balance in schools or departments where new appointments are made.

If equally qualified candidates apply, preference will be given to those with special needs.


Applications including a letter of motivation, CV, publication list, copies of certificates, as well as names and contact details of 3 academic referees should be submitted by e-mail as a single PDF-document to Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis ( no later than September 5, 2017.

Further information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis ( or by visiting our website:

Status: PhD Studentship
Location: Osnabrueck, GERMANY
Remuneration: Starting from 27900 Euro/year
Contact: Professor Joost Holthuis,
University of Osnabrueck,
Molecular Cell Biology Division,
Phone: +49 541969 7140
Advert Published: 3 Aug 2017
Expiry date: 2 Sep 2017
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