Our mission as research center: Discover personalized medical solutions for environmentally triggered diseases to promote a healthier society in a rapidly changing world.

The Cell Engineering group at the Chair of Biological Imaging (CBI) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI) at Helmholtz Munich is looking for a highly qualified and motivated

PhD candidate for protein engineering of genetically encoded small-molecule sensors (f/m/x) 101656

Image Full time
Image Neuherberg near Munich
Image PhD

Your mission

Genetically encoded sensors are a major tool to unravel the functioning of life on the cellular level. We are developing sensors for optical imaging methods. Among those, genetically encoded sensors for optoacoustics measurements. Optoacoustics is an emerging field with no tailored genetically encoded sensors, yet, leaving ample of room, to discover, develop and publish. The candidate will focus on engineering chimeric proteins that show a change of photophysics upon binding of small-molecule targets. This change can be exploited in imaging as a readout. The candidate will further explore their mechanisms and drive the proteins towards a use in life-science imaging applications.

The project will use methods like protein-engineering, high-throughput screening, photo-physical and structural characterization of the proteins. Furthermore, lead candidates will be tested in mammalian cell culture and eventually in vivo applications. All work will be conducted in close collaboration with other members of the laboratory and research groups of TUM and Helmholtz Munich that are leading in the respective research areas and methods, e.g., in vivo application or protein structure elucidation. Hence, the position is an exciting interface between protein-engineering, basic photophysical research, development of molecular tools as well as imaging.

Beyond that, the project is part of a large European funded initiative (EIC Pathfinder) to expand the possibilities of life-science in vivo imaging – working together with renowned researchers from the Netherlands, Switzerland and France, that are focusing, for example, on physics (imaging setups) and computational studies (AI based analysis). Hence the successful candidate will not only develop new imaging agents but also function as the linking hub between the partner groups – resulting in truly interdisciplinary work.

Your qualifications

The successful applicant must have the following:

  • Strong motivation, scientific curiosity and commitment to scientific excellence
  • Master degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics or similar
  • Background and hands-on experience in molecular biology (cloning, mutagenesis, etc.) and protein biochemistry (protein-purification, -characterization, western blots, etc.)
  • Experience in protein engineering is a strong plus
  • Background in fluorescent or chromophore-bearing proteins including an understanding of (protein-) environmental effects on the photophysical properties of chromophores will be appreciated but is not strictly required.
  • Interest in imaging and optical spectroscopy techniques
  • Team player skills and enthusiasm to work in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment
  • Excellent command of the English language

What we offer you

scientific training at HELENA Graduate School
work-life balance
flexible working hours & time off in lieu
30 days annual leave
on-site health management service
Image career consultation
Image mobile work
Image on-site nursery
Image company pension scheme
Image discounted public transport ticket

Munich, with its numerous lakes and its vicinity to the Alps, is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life worldwide. With its first-class universities and world-leading research institutions it offers an intellectually stimulating environment.

This position also provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge and collect significant professional experience, both of which will help advance your scientific career.

Remuneration and social benefits are based on the collective wage agreement for public-sector employees at federal level (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance if the necessary conditions are fulfilled. The position is (initially) limited to three years, but under certain circumstances an extension can be arranged.

To promote diversity, we welcome applications from talented people regardless of gender, cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, sexual identity, physical abilities, religion and age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
If you have obtained a university degree abroad, we require further documents from you regarding the recognition of the degree. Please request the recognition as early as possible.

We are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive online application including your letter of motivation, CV and academic transcripts of records, preferably in English and in a single PDF file.

If you have further questions, simply contact Dr. Andre-Christian Stiel, 089 3187-3972, who will be happy to be of assistance.
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1 

85764 Oberschleißheim

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