A PhD position in Physical Chemistry is immediately available in the group of Dr. Jan Helbing at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Zürich. The research project focuses on the development of new local probes for the investigation of peptide and protein dynamics by ultrafast chiral UV spectroscopy.
Circular dichroism in the ultraviolet (UV) is one of the few spectroscopic techniques providing good structural resolution in natural aqueous environment of peptides and proteins, where conformations are continuously changing on timescales ranging from picoseconds to many seconds. However, the faster motions, which are often linked to biological functions, are usually averaged out and site-specific information is difficult to obtain. Only very recently, it has become possible to measure ultrafast CD changes using femtosecond laser pulses with the high sensitivity necessary for biological samples. We could already show that it is possible to detect ultrafast CD changes of modified peptides, which contain so-called spectroscopic labels for probing local dynamics.
Your task will be to carry out ultrafast UV-CD, as well as complementary time-resolved experiments, on modified peptides with secondary structure motifs. You will also be part of the design, synthesis, purification and characterization of these molecules.
Previous experience in either laser spectroscopy and/or peptide chemistry is an advantage but other motivated students with a Master degree in Chemistry, Physics or related fields are equally invited to apply.
What we offer
You will be part of a larger research group in the field of ultrafast and multidimensional spectroscopy in a stimulating international and interdisciplinary environment, with the possibility to acquire unique skills at the interface between physical chemistry and biological physics. The laboratories are equipped for state-of-the-art femtosecond laser experiments, as well as peptide synthesis and purification. You will also benefit from our collaboration with other leading laboratories in time-resolved spectroscopy and biochemistry.
Place of work
University of Zurich
Department of Chemistry
Winterthurerstrasse 190 (Irchel Campus)
Start of employment
As soon as possible. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.
Please send us your CV, an account of previous research experience and academic achievements, as well as the names of two references.