Ph.D. candidate (m/f) (background in biochemistry or biophysics)

center of advanced european studies and research
August 31 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Caesar is a Neuroscience research institute associated with the Max Planck Society and is located in Bonn. Caesar's research is interdisciplinary with scientists from various research areas working together on the topics of cellular signal processing and the neural foundations of behavior. This ranges from studying the behavior of single-cell organisms to studying one of the key questions of neuroscience: how does neuronal activity give rise to complex and goal-directed behavior?

The Department of Behavior and Brain Organization is looking for a

Ph.D. candidate (m/f) (background in biochemistry or biophysics)

the position is available immediately

Project description (Characterization of genetically encoded calcium indicators)

Fluorescence-based, genetically encoded calcium indicators have enabled the study of activity in large populations of neurons over time. In order to reliably infer synaptic activity or action potentials from the observed calcium transients, we have to understand the indicators response characteristics, like changes in fluorescence in response to changing calcium levels and the association and dissociation kinetics.

The goal of this project is to precisely characterize calcium induced changes in indicator fluorescence in vitro and combine this with targeted in vivo single cell electrophysiology and mathematical modelling.

Who are we looking for

The Ph.D. student should ideally have a solid background in protein biochemistry and/or biophysics and will be involved in the expression, purification and subsequent characterization of fluorescent calcium sensors. The candidate will use a number of biophysical techniques like fluorescence spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry and fast kinetic approaches to determine the fluorescence changes of the indicator in response to calcium. The candidate will also design and optimize sensor constructs (mutagenesis, cloning, virus production) and work in close collaboration with colleagues in the department of Behavior and Brain Organization.

This position was granted by the DFG in the framework of an SFB (SFB 1089 “Synaptic Micronetworks in Health and Disease”).

What do we offer

We offer a fixed-term contract for 3 years including social benefits, with the possibility of limited extension if required. You will work in a young and dynamic environment, embedded in the scientific community of the Max Planck Society and the universities of Bonn and Cologne. Caesar is part of a cluster for neuroscience in the Bonn-Cologne region, comprising the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and two Max Planck Institutes. The Institute hosts the International Max Planck Research School for Brain & Behavior and is involved in the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience. The working language is English.

Caesar is committed to diversity and inclusion and is aiming to increase the percentage of women in areas where they are under-represented. We therefore explicitly encourage women to apply.

Handicapped persons with comparable qualifications receive preferential status.

More information on the group can be found at For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Yvonne Groemping by phone: +49(0)228 / 9656-327.

How to apply

Qualified candidates all over the world are invited to submit their application (including a detailed CV and a brief description of previous work) at our job portal:

Closing date for applications: September 22, 2017.

Caesar is certified according to the audit berufundfamilie.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess