PhD Position - Development of Novel Optogenetic Actuators

Within the DFG-funded Schwerpunktsprogramm SPP1926 „Next Generation Optogenetics“ ( the following PhD position is available in the laboratory of Prof. Peter Hegemann (Hertie Professor for Neuroscience, Experimental Biophysics, Department of Biology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) (
Development and Application of New Optogenetic Tools Targetted to Intracellular Compartments
Combination of optogenetic actuators and sensors with targeting motives for synaptic vesicles (SV) or lysosomes. The strategy will be based on recently published work on optogenetic acidification of SV and lysosomes by organelle-specific expression of the light-driven proton pump Arch3. In order to achieve acute depletion of protons from SV and lysosomes we will use a proton channel derived from Arch3, which has been recently developed by the Hegemann lab by point-directed mutagenesis. For the manipulation of luminal chloride we will implement chloride-conductive channelrhodopsins or light-driven chloride pumps. We will characterize and optimize the optogenetic actuators and sensors for subcellular applications beforehand using biophysical approaches. All constructs will be expressed in autaptic neuronal cell cultures using lentivirus or adeno-associated virus as viral gene transfer systems in collaboration with Dr. Benjamin Rost /Charité. Our newly developed tools will allow detailed investigations on the ion homeostasis in the endo-lysosomal compartments in living cells.
The successful candidate should hold a Master in Biophysics, Biochemistry, Biology and should have some experience in molecular biology and/or electrophysiology. She/he will receive a contract (65% E13 TV-L HU), as well as support with administrative matters, accommodation, visas etc. We invite highly qualified and motivated students of any nationality to apply for the PhD fellowship in our group.
Please send your application as one single .pdf file not later than Aug.15th with your name to Dr. Wiebke Apel (

How to apply:
E-maill application as one .pdf-File
Send application to
Dr. Wiebke Apel (
While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: DR/099/16

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