PhD Positions in Synthetic Biology – University of Copenhagen

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01 March 2011

PhD Positions in Synthetic Biology

Fully funded PhD positions are available in the area of Synthetic Biology as of November 1st 2011 or soon thereafter. The successful PhD fellows will be part ofthe UNIK research program in Synthetic Biology at the University of Copenhagen.

The UNIK research program on Synthetic Biology is located at Nano-Science
Center (, Department of Plant Biologyand Biotechnology
(, Department of Basic Sciences and
Environment ( and Department of Neuroscience
and Pharmacology ( The PhD fellow will furthermore be associated with either Copenhagen Graduate School for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology( or
Research School for Biotechnology ( or Copenhagen Graduate School of Health Sciences(

The following PhD position is available:

Detection of protein dynamics using singlemoleculefluorescence confocal
microscopy. The ability to detect the fluorescence of a single fluorophore has led to
greatadvances in understanding of heterogeneity and dynamics at the
nanoscale levelin life and material sciences. The specific emission
properties of fluorophoreslike its intensity, decay time, emission
wavelength (spectrum) and anisotropycan be used to probe changes in the
fluorophores surrounding. For example, fluorescence decay time changes
can be used as a powerful tool to monitorquenching and energy transfer
processes. A confocal microscope setup will bedeveloped with multiple
avalanche photodiodes and a spectrometer(polychromator/CCD camera) that
can be used to monitor changes in multipleparameters of the single
fluorophore´s emission at the same time, providing awealth of
information. In order to extract as much information as possible, itis
important to choose fluorophores with a high absorption coefficient,
highfluorescence, low triplet, and low photobleaching quantum yield. For
this,organic fluorophores (with and without the presence of
photostability enhancing additives, like e.g. ROXS) will be tested and
compared with a new class ofsilver cluster based emitters, attached to
proteins in order to determine theirphoto stability performance. As a
test case we will investigate theconformational changes that occur
during binding and transport of substratewithin the neurotransmitter
transporter homologue, LeuT.


A MSc orequivalent degree in a field relevant to the research project
and good Englishskills are required.

Salary and employment

Salary ispaid according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance
and the DanishFederation of Professional Associations (AC). PhD
employment is for a totalperiod of 3 years.


Written application marked "UNIK PhD stipend" and the relevant project
titleshould be received no later than the 1st of April 2011, 12 noon. The
application should contain a short description of own research interests,
motivationletter, a CV including publication list, copy of MSc Diploma,
or equivalent and supplementary information of relevance for the
position, together with name and address of references.
Inquiries regarding the project can be sent
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society
and encourage all qualified applicants, regardless of personal
background, to apply for the positions.
Principal supervisor: Associate professor Tom Vosch, Direct Phone: (+45)
3532 0313, E-mail:,Department Co-supervisor Professor Ulrik Gether, Direct Phone: (+45)3532 7602, E-mail:, Molecular Neuropharmacology Grp / Dept. of Pharmacology. Co-supervisor: Associate professor Claus Juul Løland, Direct Phone: (+45) 3532 7602, E-mail:, Molecular Neuropharmacology Grp /
Dept. of Pharmacology.

Please send your application, marked "UNIK PhD-stipend", to:  Nanna
Heinz, UNIK coordinator, Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, KU-LIFE,