PhD position in supramolecular biomaterial design for neuro-regeneration

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Job Offer from December 18, 2020

The group of Dr. Christopher Synatschke (Department for Synthesis of Macromolecules, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz) is looking for a PhD candidate (TVöD E13 65%) to develop biomaterials for the regeneration of traumatic brain injuries. The preferred starting date is January/February 2021. This position is part of a DFG-funded 3-year project in collaboration with the group of Prof. Dr. Bernd Knöll (Institute for Physiological Chemistry, Ulm University)

Topic

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an external mechanical impact results in transient or persisting cognitive and physical impairments. Together with our collaboration partners from the University of Ulm, we aim to develop new bioactive scaffold materials that alleviate these impairments. In our previous work (Schilling et al. Advanced Functional Materials 2019, pp. 1809112; Sieste et al. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2018 pp. 1701485), we could establish self-assembling peptide nanofibers (PNFs) as a promising biomaterial for nerve regeneration. Here, we want to further expand the regenerative potential of these materials.

For this purpose, the candidate will develop strategies to chemically conjugate biologically active molecules (proteins, peptides, small molecules, etc.) to PNFs and learn to characterize the resulting conjugates and nanostructures using mass spectrometry (MALDI and ESI-MS), microscopy (TEM, AFM, fluorescence microscopy), spectroscopy (NMR, CD, IR) and other techniques. Evaluation of the constructs for their biological performance in cell culture and animal models will be conducted together with the Knöll group.

Application

Applicants should have a strong background (courses and/or practical knowledge) in synthetic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, or biomaterials. Some experience in the above mentioned characterization techniques are beneficial. Good language skills in English (written and spoken) are required. Please provide a letter of motivation (1 page), a current CV (including a list of up to 3 potential references) and a transcript (grade report) of your BSc and MSc degree via email to Dr. Christopher Synatschke (synatschke@mpip-mainz.mpg.de).

Review of applications will start on December 15th 2020 and will continue until the position has been filled. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

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