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PhD position in Molecular Biology - Polymer nanocarriers with high subcellular specificity

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In the field of  “Polymer nanocarriers with high subcellular specificity” the research group of Dr. Kalina Peneva offers one PhD project.

Mitochondria house the protein complexes of the electron transport chain and play a critical role in cellular metabolism and respiration. Although ATP generation is their most vital role, mitochondria fulfil additional important purposes in the cell including the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are linked to aging and are also important signalling molecules in various redox-dependent processes, including apoptosis and cell proliferation. The treatment of mitochondrial metabolic disorders has been mainly achieved via selective delivery of antioxidants, however, mitochondrial gene therapy offers more efficient and long-lasting solutions for such degenerative or hyperproliferative diseases, since they have been shown to be caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA.  
For this purpose we would like to develop a polymer-based water-soluble, non-toxic DNA/siRNA carrier with mitotropic properties. We will incorporate a cell organelle targeting groups that leads to an increased accumulation of the carrier/cargo in mitochondria. This polymer will be able to form nanosized complexes with siRNA and it will poses also improved tumour targeting, as many tumour types have higher negative mitochondrial membrane potential compared to their normal counterparts. We will combine this carrier with NIR absorbing chromophore that will help us to identify its intracellular pathway and ultimately improve the design of therapeutic macromolecules in the future.

 We offer
•    The possibility to work on a cutting-edge project using state-of-the-art technology in a highly motivated research team
•    A stimulating, diverse and international research environment
•    Advanced training opportunities
•    A competitive stipend

Required qualifications
•    Master or Diploma
•    Motivation to solve complex biological problems
•    Excellent communication skills

Starting date: October 2015 or later
Duration of stipend: 3 years, with the possibility of extension
Deadline for registration (exclusively online via web form):  20 June 2015

Contact detail

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Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz)
Working place
55128 Mainz
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences