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Recreating the Emergence of Life: in situ polymerization, ligation and replication in a thermal trap

  • Application Deadline
    13 February 2017
    (application date has expired)
  • Job Salary
    €3,500 to €3,900 Fully funded position, according to the German salary system TV-L E13.
  • Website

Are you interested to unveil central processes of the emergence of life in a cross-disciplinary,experimental biophysics environment? The Braun lab has long expertise to explore non-equilibrium pathways from dead to life-like systems (biosystems.physik.lmu.de/). We are located in downtown Munich at the LMU and offer a truly cross-disciplinary environment.

The aim of this project is to explore in situ ligation chemistries with Ram Krishnamurthy (scripps.edu/krishnamurthy/) at the Scripps Research Institute. We build on preliminary results at Ram's lab and will fully combine this with existing microfluidic experiments in a thermal gradient. You will model the experiments with computer simulations. The aim is to use the reaction as central piece in the roadmap to the left for both polymerization enhanced by thermal trapping (PNAS 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1303222110), stabilize the formation of oligonucleotide gels (Angewandte doi:10.1002/anie.201603779), but also to drive replication and symmetry breaking by ligation chain reactions.

Besides the ligation chemistry, the work will also include analysis of the products with Illumina sequencing and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Our aim is to create molecular evolution starting only from two nucleotides and an in situ activation agent and driven by a temperature gradient through accumulation and thermal cycling by convection.

The position is funded through our PI funding of the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life as a full E13 position at the LMU Munich.

Requirements: We search for a chemist, physical chemist or experimental physicists with background in biochemistry (gels, fluorescence, purification). Most of the work will be performed in Munich, but strong ties to Scripps will mean that from time to time, longer research periods at the Scripps institute will be part of this postdoc position.

Group: Prof. Dieter Braun, Systems Biophysics, LMU Munich

30 paid vacation days.
Up to 14 months compensated parental leave possible.

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