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About us

The CRC explores the nature of dynamic transitions of chromatin organisation. It aims to understand principles and mechanisms that endow chromatin organisation with diversity, flexibility and plasticity to respond to environmental, metabolic and developmental cues. CRC research strives for an integrated understanding of chromatin structure and function, involving identification and biochemical characterization of enzymes and metabolites, multi-omic analyses and imaging of cells in diverse physiological states and during ontogeny of model organisms. See more about the CRC 1064.

Current open positions:

PhD Postion (65%, TV-L E13)

Project A04: Genome-wide reconstitution of dynamics in nucleosome positioning, collision, eviction and histone exchange (group leader: PD Dr. Philipp Korber)

Our Goals

Eukaryotes package their nuclear DNA into a complex protein-nucleic acid structure called chromatin. Chromatin structure regulates all DNA-templated processes, like transcription, replication, recombination and repair. Such regulation is often called “epigenetic” as it provides another and even heritable kind of information in addition to the genetic information in the DNA sequence. At the most basic level of chromatin, DNA is wrapped around histone octamers forming nucleosomes. The position of nucleosomes as well as their molecular make-up in terms of histone composition and modification influences DNA accessibility and co-factor recruitment/activity. As this offers a fundamental level of genome regulation, there is a keen interest in understanding the establishment, maintenance and modulation of chromatin structures.

We study how ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes shape the chromatin landscape as they mediate the positioning, collision, eviction and histone exchange of nucleosomes. We conceptualize chromatin remodeling enzymes as “information processing hubs” that read out molecular information of their substrates and their environment, contribute their own intrinsic information and thereby generate chromatin structures of specific functional relevance. Our particular strength and focus lie in the use of the only genome-wide in vitro chromatin reconstitution system currently available that allows to recapitulate and study the impact of chromatin remodeling enzymes and other factors (yeast and human) on nucleosome organization and dynamics. This protocol is published (Krietenstein et al., 2012, Meth. Enzymol.) and led to a successful series of papers (Zhang et al., 2011, Science; Krietenstein et al., 2016, Cell; Knoll et al., 2018, Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol.; Oberbeckmann, Krietenstein et al., 2021, Nat. Comm.; Oberbeckmann, Krietenstein et al., 2021, Nat. Comm.).

We offer

We are a small, independent group in the larger context of the department of Molecular Biology (chair Prof. Dr. Peter B. Becker) at the Biomedical Center, LMU Munich (http://www.molekularbiologie.abi.med.uni-muenchen.de/ueber_uns/korber/index.html). Together with more than 20 chromatin groups within the Molecular Biology department (http://www.molekularbiologie.abi.med.uni-muenchen.de/index.html) and other institutes of the LMU Munich, the Technical University of Munich, the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, we are members of the Collaborative Research Center (Sonderforschungsbereich, SFB) 1064 “Chromatin Dynamics”. The close proximity of so many groups that also study chromatin and gene regulation mechanisms provides an exceptionally stimulating and collaborative working environment and offers an extensive resource of expertise, materials and core facility services (e.g. bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, high-throughput sequencing). Part of this is the graduate program of our Integrated Research and Training Group (IRTG 1064 http://www.sfb1064.med.uni-muenchen.de/irtg/index.html) that provides excellent opportunities, resources and networking for our graduate students (e.g. scientific writing/presentation/career orientation workshops, retreats). In addition to the connections within Munich, we also collaborate with many groups internationally (see “Networking/funding” on our home page).

We are looking for a PhD student who will pioneer new assays for histone exchange, generation of non-canoncial nucleosomal particles (e.g. nucleosome collision dimers), nucleosome eviction and DNA sequence-dependent nucleosome positioning in our genome-wide reconstitution system. This will involve protein purification, enzymology assays, chromatin analysis by nuclease digests and DNA methylation footprinting coupled to high-throughput sequencing, especially single-molecule long-read sequencing (Oxford Nanopore, PacBio) and bioinformatic analyses, and allow to address how chromatin remodeling enzymes process genetic (DNA sequence) and epigenetic (histone modifications, histone variants, chromatin environment) cues. The project will be in close collaboration with strong structural biology groups (Karl-Peter Hopfner, Gene Center, LMU; Sebastian Eustermann, EMBL Heidelberg).

Payment is guaranteed for 3 years and will be according to 65% TV-L E13. The project starts in May or June 2022.

You bring

Do you share our fascination for ATP-driven molecular machines? We are looking for a PhD student who brings a strong interest in biochemistry (protein purification and in vitro reconstitution) and bioinformatics (analysis of high-throughput sequencing data). Any prior experience in these fields is very welcome, but we also provide extensive training opportunities. A recent degree (Master or equivalent) in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biotechnology, Pharmacology/Life Sciences with average grade of better than 2.3 is prerequisite. To take advantage of our well-connected local, regional and international research network we expect and encourage an explorative attitude and good communication skills, especially in English. Although we are a small group with extensive and frequent interaction between all members, an independent working attitude with strong problem-solving skills as well as strong commitment is expected.

For inquiries or more specific information, please feel free to contact the email below.

Applications should include a letter of motivation, an up-to-date CV, certificates of completed studies, letters of reference or contact information of former supervisors/tutors, and submitted by email to pkorber@lmu.de.

Download job description (PDF)

Date of issue March 15 2022
The institutions contributing to the CRC 1064 are equal opportunity employers.