Postdoctoral Research Fellow in single-molecule microscopy and optical tweezers in Department of Medical Biochemistry, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo


A 3-year postdoctoral position to study DNA scanning by combined single-molecule microscopy and optical tweezers is available in Dr. Bjørn Dalhus’ laboratory, at the Department of Medical Biochemistry, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo.

The project will be performed in close collaboration with the laboratory of prof. Magnar Bjørås, NTNU, Trondheim, and Dr. Mark Schüttpelz at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.

The Dalhus group studies the structural basis for DNA repair, including the molecular mechanisms of DNA base damage recognition and repair. The Bjørås group focuses on the cellular responses to DNA damage, with particular emphasis on oxidative stress, DNA base lesion repair and maintenance of epigenetic DNA methylation (epigenome stability). The Schüttpelz group specializes in super-resolution microscopy.

The main purpose of the fellowship is to strengthen the single-molecule studies in the Dalhus group, and to design, perform and analyze advanced single-molecule manipulation- and imaging experiments.

The Dalhus, Bjørås and Schüttpelz groups have recently performed a series of single-molecule DNA scanning experiments looking at the dynamics of base lesion search for DNA glycosylases and a DNA endonuclease, as well as design of microfluidics flow-cells for single-molecule imaging and manipulation. By directly building on these experiments, the postdoc project aims to design novel DNA substrates, custom-build flow cells and develop and/or apply statistical/analytic tools to carry out single-molecule DNA scanning experiments with advanced DNA substrates. The purpose is to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying DNA damage scanning and detection, with emphasis on DNA base lesions. Observing the coordinated action of sequential DNA repair proteins at the single-molecule level is also a conceivable topic for investigation. The molecular material will be produced in the Dalhus lab, but the candidate will spend periods in the Schüttpelz lab to collect DNA scanning data.

Qualification requirements

We are looking for a talented and highly motivated individual with a background in single-molecule fluorescence microscopy and optical tweezers. Experience with programming/statistical analysis, microfluidic flow-cell design and 3D-printing is also required.

  • Interested candidates must hold a PhD in molecular biology, biophysics or a related area with focus on single-molecule fluorescent microscopy and optical tweezers.
  • Hands-on experience with optical tweezers, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, as well as processing and statistical analysis of DNA scanning experiments is required. Experience with microfluidic flow cell design and 3D-printing is also required.
  • Experience with programming in R or a similar statistical/graphics software platform is a strong advantage.
  • Documented ability to write scientific manuscripts.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

Personal skills

  • The candidate should be highly motivated and dedicated
  • Proven ability to independently design and perform experiments, analyze and interpret results
  • Demonstrate scientific creativity and curiosity
  • Good analytical skills
  • A proven ability and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Strong organizational skills

How to apply

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, academic work and other qualifying activities)
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • A complete list of publications with brief statements of candidate contributions
  • List of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented qualifications, as well as the candidate’s motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Deadline: 05.12.2018

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