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Macromolecular Structures from Single Molecule X-Ray Diffraction Experiments

  • Application Deadline
    Deadline:
    31 March 2020
    (application date has expired)
  • Job Salary
    Payment and benefits are based on the TVöD guidelines.
  • Website
  • Contact Name
    Contact:
    Ms Sylke Wallbrecht


The Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry is one of the largest institutes of the Max-Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and conducts basic research to advance knowledge and benefit society. Innovative projects and interdisciplinary cooperation characterize research within the Max-Planck Society.

The Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics (Prof. Dr. Helmut Grubmüller) invites applications for the project (Code Number 26-19)

- Macromolecular Structures from Single Molecule X-Ray Diffraction Experiments -

to advance methods to extract high resolution structure information from single molecule X-ray diffraction data. In these “diffract and destroy” experiments, femtosecond X-ray free electron laser pulses are shot at a single molecule, and the diffraction pattern is recorded. Depending on sample size, only very few photons are scattered in each shot, such that many scattering images have to be combined. The analysis is complicated by the fact that for each shot the orientation of the sample molecule is random and unknown. We have recently shown that as few as three recorded photons per image suffice. Using recent experimental data, you will develop, implement, and test a rigorous Bayesian approach, which holds the promise to drastically reduce the number of required photons, thus rendering single molecule X-ray structure determination feasible.

Please see our corresponding publication for further details: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04830-4

The successful candidate for either position has a keen interest and strong skills in theoretical and computational physics, mathematics, and probability theory and a strong interest in interdisciplinary collaborative research. You shall hold a PhD or equivalent degree in any of these or a related field. The position is limited to two years with a possibility of extension.

Payment and benefits are based on the TVöD (German collective wadge agreement for the public sector) guidelines. The starting date is flexible.


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