Helmholtz Zentrum München is a research center with the mission to discover personalized medical solutions for the prevention and therapy of environmentally triggered diseases and promote a healthier society in a rapidly changing world.

At our institute you will find a scientifically stimulating international environment. Together with renowned scientists and supported by an excellent infrastructure you will have the opportunity to make an important contribution for a healthier society.

Our mission at the Institute of Functional Epigenetics is to understand how genes are packaged within the nucleus of a cell, how information can be stored by marking genomic regions with covalent modifications, and how alterations in DNA organization regulate gene expression. We utilize cutting-edge methods to predict, observe, and manipulate how these processes respond to environmental and developmental signals in individual cells.

We are looking for a highly motivated

PhD Student - Functional Analysis of the ORC associated Protein LRWD1 (f/m/x) 100538

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Image Neuherberg near Munich
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Your mission

In a new research project in the group of Dr Till Bartke (Deputy Director, Institute of Functional Epigenetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München) we aim to study the function of the ORC-associated protein LRWD1 in linking DNA replication and chromatin folding.

Before cells divide, they must duplicate their genetic material in a process termed DNA replication. DNA replication is therefore essential for the growth and development of all organisms, and errors in DNA replication have catastrophic consequences as they lead to genetic and genomic instabilities. Mutations in genes that encode DNA replication proteins are associated with many inherited (e.g. Werner’s and Meier-Gorlin syndromes) and sporadic (e.g. cancer) human diseases.
DNA replication starts at so-called origins of replication that are marked by the Origin Recognition Complex (ORC). Origins are activated in S-phase in an intricately timed replication programme, but the exact mechanisms by which origins are established and how their activation is coordinated during the cell cycle is not known.

In this project we will investigate whether the ORC-associated protein LRWD1 plays a role in this process. LRWD1 can tether ORC to chromatin, and our work hints towards a connection between LRWD1 and the formation of chromatin loops.

We therefore want to investigate whether LRWD1 plays a role in chromatin folding and whether chromatin looping might be a way to select active origins and coordinate their time of firing. We will use tissue culture models, CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering, and a broad range of genomic (e.g. ChIP-seq, Chromosome Conformation Capture, SNS-seq) and high-throughput microscopic techniques to get a full picture of how LRWD1 links DNA replication and chromatin folding during the cell cycle.

Your qualifications

We are looking for candidates with experience in cell biological and molecular biology techniques who have a strong interest in applying cutting edge genomic and imaging technologies to gain a deep understanding of the molecular functions of LRWD1, an important regulator of DNA replication.

Candidates should have a M.Sc. (or equivalent) in Biochemistry, Molecular, or Cell Biology. Prior experience with genome editing, next generation sequencing and/or advanced imaging techniques will be an advantage. We particularly encourage applications from highly motivated, open-minded individuals who are able to work in a team.

What we offer you

continuous education and training
work-life balance
flexible working hours & time off in lieu
30 days annual leave
on-site health management service
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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 amounting to 15% 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 cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, physical abilities, religion and age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
Applicant guidance on the Corona pandemic 

If you have further questions, simply contact Dr. Till Bartke, tel 089/3187-1553 or, who will be happy to be of assistance.
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Institute of Functional Epigenetics
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1

85764 Neuherberg

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