PhD position in biophysics: Emergence of Replication on early Earth

We are looking for highly motivated doctoral and postdoctoral candidates who are interested in multidisciplinary research and want to join our collaborative network of nanoscientists.
All positions offer excellent re­search and training conditions within the stimulating scientific environment of the Center for NanoScience, the Collaborative Research Center SFB863 "Forces in Biomolecular Systems", the Collaborative Research Center SFB1032 "Nanoagents" and the Collaborative Research Center TRR235 "Emergence of Life" .
This project "Emergence of Replication on early Earth" is offered by Prof. Dieter Braun (LMU München).

Activities and responsibilities

We will reconstruct in the lab the first cycles of Darwinian evolution. Our bottom up approach reconstructs the boundary conditions of early Earth to gather and drive the first living molecules. We will focus on persistent replication, emergence of a phenotype and selection to overcome central hurdles in our understanding of the origins of life. The approach can be compared to an engineer who designs a chemical plant to implement a specific chemical reaction. We will aim for conditions under which these genetic molecules can polymerize efficiently to oligonucleotides of sufficient length and trigger the initial replication cycles. They include temperature gradients, water-air interfaces, crystallization and gelation processes at the micrometer scale. We aim to create a self-selection of random sequences into a phenotype of sequence-similar chirally pure RNA or DNA molecules.

Qualification profile

An independent mind with practical skills and a broad background from physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, biochemistry and chemistry would be most desired.


PhD:  TV-ÖD E13 75%, 3.5 years

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About Center for NanoScience

The Center for NanoScience (CeNS) was founded in 1998 at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich. The mission of CeNS is to promote and coordinate interdisciplinary research in the field of nanoscience in the Munich area. CeNS is an association of junior and senior scientists from basic research and industry and is conceived as a network, joining people from various institutions (LMU, TU...

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