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Here you can find career announcements in bottom-up synthetic cell research. Do you have an announcement you would like to share on this page? Contact us!

Three PhD positions on the development of new synthetic cell composites for immunotherapy
The Immuno-Materials research group – INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken – Germany

The team of Oskar Staufer is looking for PhD students with a background in biology, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry or physics to work on the development of advanced synthetic cell systems for applications at the intersection of cancer immunotherapy and immunoregulatory materials.

INM’s research group Immuno-Materials investigates how microscale cell-like materials can be formed to combine multiple life-like functionalities and be integrated into living systems. They apply organoid cultures, bottom-up synthetic biology and microfluidics to reconstitute immunoregulatory processes for therapeutic applications. Selected candidates will work on new projects: Synthetic Tumor Immune Microenvironments and Synthetic Lymphatic Tissues.

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2023

For more information on the job description, please consult this document.

Postdoctoral Position on DNA artificial cells with a metabolism to process information

Walther Lab – Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz – Germany

The Walther Lab at the University of Mainz (Germany) is searching for an outstanding postdoctoral researcher to
work on DNA protocells/artificial cells, regarding structure formation processes and information processing.
The position aims to increase our understanding of structure formation, tuning their behavioural complexity, reach
dynamic structures, or target intelligent matter using tools from synthetic biology.

Deadline for applications: 31 October 2023

For more information on the job description, please consult this document.

Postdoctoral position on synthetic cells

Dora Tang’s research group – Saarland University, Germany

Dora Tang, team leader, is looking for a candidate to work on the following topics:

  • Setting up and establishing microscopy and microfluidic methods for building and characterising synthetic cells,
  • Characterising, quantifying, and modelling enzyme kinetics within synthetic cells

The candidate must hold a PhD in synthetic biology or biophysics, have proven experience in light microscopy and analytical methods, microfluidics experience, and an excellent command of English.

The successful candidate will initially be based at MPI-CBG in Dresden on a Saarland University contract; a physical move to
the Saarland University campus will follow at a later date.

Deadline for applications: 25 September 2023

For more information on the job description, please consult this document.

Two PhD positions in the DarChemDN project

Dora Tang’s research group – Saarland University, Germany

The 10 Doctoral Candidate positions for the DarChemDN project are open! DarChemDN is looking for talented and motivated Doctoral Candidates (DCs) with backgrounds in organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biology, biochemistry and engineering to help develop Darwinian Chemistry.

Dora Tang, team leader, is looking for candidates to work on the following projects:

  1. Feedback of compartmentalisation on reactions: the project aims to study how molecular heterogeneity will impact the emergent, macroscopic properties of coacervate droplets and how these parameters affect encapsulated chemical reactions.
  2. Evolution in heterogeneous populations of compartments: Establish molecular libraries of prebiotic relevance using bioinformatics. Exploit methods combining single-cell sorting of synthetic coacervates with droplet analysis will provide an exciting approach to determining the chemical content from single droplets within a population to characterise the outcome of evolving systems with molecular complexity.

Deadline for applications: 31 October 2023

For more information, visit the dedicated page on the DarChemDN website.

4-year PhD position on reconstituting division in minimal cell-like systems

Systems Biochemistry Lab at the Centre for Biological Investigations (CIB) Margarita Salas, CSIC, Madrid

The aim of the project is to design a vesicle division machinery operated by self-organizing proteins – in concert with a nucleoid mimicry and physicochemical elements of the intracellular complexity (as macromolecular crowding and phase separation) – to implement functional autonomous division of minimal cell-like containers.

Applications (CV and motivation letter) should be sent to German Germán Rivas (grivas[at]cib.csic.es) and Silvia Zorrilla (silvia[at]cib.csic.es) by September 15, 2023

PhD position on Synthetic cell division

Koenderink and Dekker labs – Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) – Netherlands

This experimental biophysics project aims to achieve robust synthetic cell abscission based on a thorough understanding of the required membrane remodeling process. More details here.

PhD position on transmembrane signaling in artificial cells using DNA
structures/superresolution microscopy

Walther Lab – Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz – Germany

The project, part of the Research and Training Group 2516, aims to engineer transmembrane communication processes in artificial cells using tools from DNA nanoscience and quantitatively characterize their structures and dynamics using superresolution fluorescence microscopy. The scope of the project deals with building DNA structures and integrating them into liposomes as
artificial cell mimics, as well as supported lipid bilayers for superresolution microscopy, in particular working with
single-molecule localization techniques (e.g. STORM, PALM, DNA paint).

Deadline for applications: 1 November 2023

For more information on the job description, please consult this document.

Four-year PhD position – “Developing novel label-free technologies for studying drug molecules and their ability to induce protein complex formation in cells”

Imperial College London (UK)

This project is co-sponsored by the Institute of Chemical Biology EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training and AstraZeneca.
Supervisors: Professor Oscar Ces (Department of Chemistry, ICL); Dr Jorge Bernardino de la Serna (National Heart & Lung Institute, ICL); Dr Liming Ying (National Heart & Lung Institute, ICL); Dr Nazila Kamaly (Department of Chemistry, ICL); Dr Philip Hopcroft (AstraZeneca); Dr Andy Thomas (AstraZeneca).
Recruitment will continue until the post is filled. More details here.

Two PhD positions in the design of responsive and adaptive synthetic cells (artificial signal transduction, design of signaling cascades)

Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University (Denmark)

Zelikin lab has two new PhD positions to fill. Successful applicants should have interest and expertise in one or more of the following disciplines: organic and/or supramolecular chemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, protein expression, and handling. To apply, please send your application to Professor Alexander Zelikin.

For more information on this subject, read Zelikin Lab’s recent publications:

Max Planck School Matter to Life

The 5-year Master to PhD Direct Track program of the Max Planck School Matter to Life

Heidelberg, Germany

More information here

PhD and postdoctoral positions on the construction of a cell using evolution 

INSA Toulouse (France)

Christophe Danelon is currently recruiting highly motivated people with the ambition to make a significant contribution in the field of synthetic cells. The following positions are available in his team:

  • A PhD student position with an expected start date in October 2023
  • An experienced postdoc (about 3 years after obtaining a PhD)

If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact Christophe Danelon at c.j.a.danelon[at]tudelft.nl or danelon[at]insa-toulouse.fr.