3 PhD student positions

Analysis of synaptic function and small neuronal networks in Caenorhabditis elegans

8th January 2009

Up to 3 positions for PhD students are available immediately in the Gottschalk lab at the Goethe-University Frankfurt, Institute of Biochemistry, for up to three years. The projects are funded by the DFG, HFSPO, Cluster of Excellence Frankfurt and the Schram-Foundation:

1) Novel pre-synaptic proteins acting in neurotransmission will be uncovered by co-purification with synaptic neurotransmitter vesicles, and by reverse genetic screening, utilizing new methods for optical stimulation of neurons (optogenetics) that we developed. Proteins will be functionally characterized by molecular and cell biology, genetics and electrophysiology.

2) Similarly, post-synaptic proteins that we purified and showed to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors will be functionally characterized.

3) Small neuronal networks will be analyzed by optogenetic activation (via Channelrhodopsin-2) or inhibition (via Halorhodopsin), and assaying evoked behavioural or network effects, using automated video analysis, Ca2+ imaging and electrophysiology.

For further information, see lab publications (EMBO J (2005) 24: 2566; Curr. Biol. (2005) 15: 2279; EMBO J (2007) 26: 4313; Nature (2007) 446: 633; Nat. Meth. (2008) 5: 895; PNAS (2008) 105: 16350; MBC (2008) online 10.1091/mbc.E08-08-0851).

A diploma or masters degree in Biochemistry, Biology or Chemistry is required. Candidates must have a strong background and interest in the function of the nervous system, and solid experience in molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology; programming skills (Matlab, LabView) are desired. Knowledge of C. elegans biology and techniques is mostly welcome, but no strict necessity. Please send applications containing the usual documents, CV, short description of research experience and interests, and references to:

Alexander Gottschalk, PhD, Juniorprofessor
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Institute for Biochemistry, Biocenter N220
Max-von-Laue Strasse 9
D-60438 Frankfurt
e-mail: a.gottschalk@em.uni-frankfurt.de