Postdoctoral Fellowship - Mechanism of nitrogen incorporation in multifunctional protein complexes by time-resolved structural biology
Location:Hamburg, Germany
Staff Category:Postdoctoral Fellow
Contract Duration:2 years
Closing Date:15 April 2018
Reference Number:HH_00133

Job Description

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the highest ranked scientific research organisations worldwide. The Headquarters Laboratory is located in Heidelberg (Germany), with additional sites in Barcelona (Spain), Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Hinxton near Cambridge (UK), Rome (Italy).

The research group of Matthias Wilmanns has a long-standing record in structural biology on research themes that are of medical relevance. Most of our projects require the combined use of different structural biology methods by combined and integrative approaches, generally followed by functional experiments.

Project Outline: Glutamine amidotransferases (GATs) are multifunctional enzymes that allow the incorporation of nitrogen into various metabolites. GATs catalyze the hydrolysis of glutamine to produce ammonia, which is subsequently channeled to the active site of a synthase. To avoid wasteful consumption of metabolites, the catalytic activities of GATs are coupled and highly regulated. This project aims to use the unique on-site opportunities in Hamburg for structural biology (synchrotron, free electron laser) to elucidate the mechanism of GAT activity and regulation by time-resolved structural studies and direct visualization of ammonia in the substrate channel under high pressure. This work could open novel opportunities to exploit the catalytic mechanism of GATs to devise new pathways for synthesis of nitrogen-containing chemical compounds.

Qualifications and Experience

Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant field, proven record of scientific accomplishments, international experience, scientific ambition and excellent communication skills, and previously demonstrated expertise in protein biochemistry and x-ray crystallography including sample preparation (molecular biology, protein purification). Additional expertise in complementary biophysical methods would be advantageous.

Application Instructions

Please apply online through

Additional Information

Interviews are planned to take place at the end of April, beginning of May.

Further comments: This position will be advertised by EMBL. Informal inquiries should be sent to:

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises from a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, and other social benefits.

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.