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Dissipative systems engineering: Chemically fueled active molecular systems

Doctoral position in the area of synthetic organic chemistry

In the framework of livMatS, the Jessen group at the Institute of Organic Chemistry is looking for a highly motivated doctoral researcher. The candidate should have an MSc in Chemistry with a specialization in synthetic Organic Chemistry. Ideally, the candidate will have experience in nucleoside and nucleic acid chemistry and the purification of such compounds.

In brief, we are aiming at the development of photoactivatable polyphosphate fuels for driving feedback mechanisms in materials and the design and synthesis of photoswitchable nucleobases and photoswitchable/photocleavable DNA backbones that can be controlled with light (two-photon absorption). The building blocks will be incorporated into designed synthetic DNA strands with switchable features to control material properties on the molecular level. The position offered will be embedded in several collaborative projects spanning materials, synthetic, physical, and analytical chemistry. Within the cluster and the participating teams, we will provide you with cutting-edge infrastructure in an inspiring and collaborative team atmosphere. As an ideal candidate you are creative, highly motivated, ambitious and eager to drive research forward in larger teams and collaborative efforts.

Applications are closed as of April 15th 2019. The position will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Henning Jessen,  Prof. Dr. Andreas Walther, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hugel.


Doctoral position in the Area of (Plant) Biotechnology

The advertized position is within the project Dissipative systems engineering: Chemically fueled active molecular systems. In close co-operation with teams from chemistry and pharmacy, the project will investigate xTP-driven active self-assembling systems from molecular details up to macroscopic applications. The successful applicant will evolve the FtsZ plastoskeleton protein system of the moss Physcomitrella patens as a plant role model towards applications in hydrogel materials.

Applicants should hold a M.Sc. degree in biotechnology, preferably plant biotechnology. Experience in gene cloning is a prerequisite; experiences in protein detection (Western blot analysis, mass spectrometry), live cell imaging and plant cell culture are advantageous. As we aim to fill this by February 1st 2019 at the latest, we expect that you make a definitive statement about your availability. The position will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski, Prof. Dr. Andreas Walther and Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hugel. Applications are closed as of December 31st, 2018


Postdoctoral position in the Area of DNA Materials Systems

In the framework of livMatS, the Walther group at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Freiburg is searching for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with a background in chemistry, soft matter science or DNA nanosciences to work on “Chemically Fueled, Non-equilibrium DNA-based Self-Assembling Materials Systems” with an overall aim to create life-inspired, chemically fueled, non-equilibrium DNA systems, that mimic the principles and dynamics of microtubules and other dynamic cytoskeleton fibrils. The resulting systems and materials are expected to feature unexpected steady-state dynamics (i.e. dynamic instabilities) as well as limited lifetimes in autonomous systems programmed through the consumption of chemical fuels. The project is strongly interdisciplinar and connects DNA nanotechnology, polymer and colloid science with non-equilibrium self-assembly, and physical chemistry. The project can be developed in the direction of increasing structural complexity (e.g. DNA origami), higher chemical reaction network complexity (e.g. advanced feedback mechanisms) or in the direction of materials with an emphasis on hydrogels and soft robotics application. We provide you with an inspiring and collaborative team atmosphere, cutting-edge infrastructure and ample opportunities to develop first steps towards an individual scientific profile. Selected recent references on the topic:

  • “Materials Learning from Life: Concepts for Active, Adaptive and Autonomous Molecular Systems” Chem. Soc. Rev. 46, 5588 (2017).
  • “Antagonistic Enzymes in a Biocatalytic pH Feedback System Program Autonomous DNA Hydrogel Life Cycles” Nano Lett. 17, 4989 (2017).
  • “Biocatalytic Feedback-Driven Temporal Programming of Self-Regulating Non-Equilibrium Peptide Hydrogels” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed, 54, 13258 (2015).
  • “3D DNA Origami Cuboids as Monodisperse Patchy Nanoparticles for Switchable Hierarchical Self-Assembly” Nano Lett. 16, 7870 (2016).
  • “Pathway-Controlled Formation of Mesostructured all-DNA Microgels and their Superstructures” Nat. Nanotech., 13, 730 (2018).

More information on the group can be found here: www.walther-group.com. As an ideal candidate you are creative, highly self-motivated, ambitious and communicative to excel in scientific challenges, and have a proven track record with innovative publications in a relevant field (polymer/colloid chemistry/physics, soft matter, DNA nanoscience). A keen interest in physical chemistry, advanced analytics (in particular microscopy) and working with biological components is a must. Previous research experience in DNA-based materials, non-equilibrium self-assembly and enzymes is a plus.

Applications are closed as of January 31st 2019. The position will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Andreas Walther.



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