PhD Student (f/m/d) – Crosstalk of the ubiquitin system with other post-translational modifications

Ausschreibungsnummer: 26-21

Stellenangebot vom 7. Oktober 2021

The Max Planck Institutes for Biophysical Chemistry and Experimental Medicine in Göttingen are internationally leading research institutes of exceptional scientific breadth, which will merge in 2022 to become the largest institute of the Max Planck Society. The new institute will comprise more than 40 research groups and employ around 1,000 people from over 50 nations.

The research group Ubiquitin Signaling Specificity (Dr. Sonja Lorenz) invites applications for a position as

PhD student (f/m/d)
– Crosstalk of the ubiquitin system with other post-translational modifications –

Our lab aims to understand how ubiquitin − a single, small protein − achieves specificity in regulating countless eukaryotic signaling pathways. A major key lies in the precisely regulated action of the ubiquitin machinery, a catalytic cascade of three classes of enzymes. These enzymes can provide powerful therapeutic targets, as illustrated by the clinical efficacy of thalidomide and derivatives in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. However, a rational manipulation of ubiquitination enzymes for therapeutic benefit has been limited by our insufficient understanding of their structural mechanisms and regulation. To fill this gap, our lab combines chemical-biological, biochemical, cell biological, and structural approaches (including NMR, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy).

We are offering a fully-funded PhD position to explore the intriguing question of how ubiquitination enzymes are regulated by other types of posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation or redox-dependent alterations.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to join one of several attractive PhD programs within the Göttingen Graduate Center for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences, a collaboration with the University of Göttingen ( Masters students aiming at a fast track PhD are also welcome to apply.

Your profile

  • You have a Masters or equivalent degree in the life sciences, e.g., biology, biochemistry, biomedicine, biophysics, or chemistry.
  • You have a strong background in at least one of the following areas: protein biochemistry, cell biology, or structural biology.
  • Initial expertise in human cell culture techniques would be beneficial.
  • You are keen to understand the structure and function of key enzymes by working at the interface of biochemistry, cell biology, and structural biology.
  • You are passionate about science, curiosity-driven, and highly self-motivated.
  • You are open-minded and enjoy being part of an international, multidisciplinary team.

About us

Based at one of Germany’s premier research campuses, our independent research group has access to leading-edge infrastructure in all fields of cell and structural biology. We are an ambitious, international team, funded by the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation, and the EMBO YIP. Our working language is English; knowledge of German is not required. The historic city of Göttingen, located in the center of Germany, offers great outdoor and cultural opportunities, a vibrant student scene, and an impressive scientific heritage.

Position details

The position should be filled as soon as possible; the exact start date is flexible. Payment and benefits are based on the TVöD guidelines.

Applications will be reviewed immediately until the position is filled. Informal inquiries are also welcome.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.


Please submit your application including cover letter (explaining background and motivation), CV, transcripts, list of publications, and the contact details of at least two academic referees by e-mail as a single PDF file to

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Research Group “Ubiquitin Signaling Specificity”
Dr. Sonja Lorenz
Am Faßberg 11
37077 Göttingen

Twitter: SLorenzLab

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