PhD student position: deciphering the molecular basis of allostery in CRISPR associated proteins using single-molecule experiments

100%, starting July (negotiable)

The Biomolecular Nano-Dynamics group at the Dept. of Chemistry, University of Basel is looking for a highly talented and motivated PhD student with a background in (bio-)physics, or biophysical chemistry to join our team for the study of allosteric mechanisms governing recently discovered CRISPR associated proteins using novel techniques, such as single-molecule fluorescence/FRET and nanopore trapping.

Your position

This PhD project will grow with you. You will create time-resolved direct observations of single CARF proteins – aka. CRISPR suicide proteins – undergoing allosteric activation, substrate processing, deactivation, etc. How this works, on what timescales, by which conformational rearrangements has not been observed yet in real-time, leaving the underlying molecular processes obscure. In this PhD project, you'll be able to solve (some of) these nanoscale puzzles. Steps involved in the project:

  • Single-molecule fluorescence/FRET/DyeCycling experiments
  • Solid-state nanopore/NEOtrap experiments
  • Advanced data analysis, coding, kinetic modeling
  • Protein production and functionalization

Your profile

Prior experience in several of these areas is desired:

  • Single-molecule experiments and interpretation
  • Advanced data analysis, coding, modeling, machine learning
  • Optics and fluorescence microscopy and/or nanopore techniques
  • Protein biochemistry

Essential requirements:

  • MSc degree in physics or (bio-)chemistry with excellent grades
  • High motivation and curiosity about fundamental questions on the physical-chemistry of life
  • Independent analytical thinking and systematic work style
  • Excellent experimental problem-solving skills and perseverance
  • Friendly team player proficient in English communication (speaking & writing)

We offer you

  • An exciting and fully funded PhD project in Basel, Switzerland
  • Embedding in a productive, interdisciplinary group with an open and interactive lab culture
  • State-of-the-art research infrastructure and facilities
  • A highly international and interdisciplinary setting stimulating your professional and personal development
  • The GRACE graduate center, wide-ranging sports offers, etc.
  • A beautiful and very livable city at the intersection of Germany, France, and Switzerland

Application / Contact

Applications are invited before/by April 30th, 2024. Please submit your application via with subject 'Application PhD4 Firstname Lastname', and include:
your letter of motivation, your CV, and email addresses of 2-3 references – all merged into one single pdf file named 'Application PhD4 Firstname Lastname.pdf'.

For questions, please contact Prof. Sonja Schmid: