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PhD position (f/m/d) on protein-nanoparticle conjugates for single-molecule sensing
Eindhoven University of Technology
PhD position on protein-nanoparticle conjugates for single-molecule sensing
Position: PhD-student Department(s): Department of Applied Physics FTE: 1,0 Date off: 30/09/2020 Reference number: V34.4573
Department of Applied Physics
TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we contribute to progress in the technical sciences, to the development of technological innovations, and as a result to the growth of prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond.
The Molecular Plasmonics group at Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands, www.molecular-plasmonics.nl) has an open PhD position on protein-nanoparticle conjugates for single-molecule studies of protein-protein interactions.
Proteins and their interactions are the cornerstone of biological processes. The dynamic cooperation between multiple species is key to various processes including chaperone-mediated protein folding. Herein multiple chaperone proteins cooperate to aid in folding of a peptide, and to prevent its aggregation. The dynamics of these multi-molecular interactions is not easily captured because current single-molecule sensors (a) only work in dilute solutions or (b) only resolve a single species at a time. Capturing the dynamics of such protein machinery at physiological conditions therefore remains one of the grand challenges in the field. In our group we have developed plasmon sensors with single-molecule sensitivity. These sensors employ single-molecule plasmon-enhanced fluorescence, are compatible with high concentrations, and give access to short (millisecond) timescales due to strong plasmon-enhancement of the fluorescence.
The candidate will develop plasmonic sensors for dynamic protein-protein interactions, particularly chaperone-mediated processes. The candidate will perform protein expression and chemical functionalization of plasmonic nanoparticles and quantify the functionalization using single-molecule microscopy. These protein-nanoparticle conjugates will then be used to study protein-protein interactions using plasmon-enhanced fluorescence. The latter will be done in collaboration with a postdoc in the group. The project will be co-supervised by dr. P. Zijlstra (Molecular Plasmonics) and Prof. M. Merkx (protein engineering).
We welcome applications from candidates with a MSc degree or equivalent in biophysical chemistry or a related field. Experience with optical studies of nanoparticles and protein chemistry is advantageous.
Conditions of employment
We offer a fixed-term, 4-year position in a research group with an excellent reputation. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, including:
A gross monthly salary between € 2.395,00 (first year) and € 3.061,00 (last year). Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, childcare, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities. Assistance for finding accommodation is offered for foreign students. Personal development program aimed to develop your social and communication skills (see http://www.tue.nl/PROOF3TU).