Postdoctoral Fellow
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Staff Category: Postdoctoral Fellow
Contract Duration: 18 months
Grading: Stipend
Closing Date: 28 February 2021
Reference Number: HD01913
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is seeking a bright postdoctoral candidate to investigate the control of cell and tissue mechanics via optogenetics in a collaborative project between Maria Leptin (EMBL-Heidelberg, Germany) and Vito Conte at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/Eindhoven, the Netherlands). The project to research the role of cell cortex contractility in regulating mechanics and morphology of in vitro epithelial tissues is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation for 18 months.  

Your role

The successful candidate will be based at the EMBL-Heidelberg in the Leptin Lab. The first stage of the project will focus on engineering an in vitro optogenetic cellular model that can selectively regulate the mechanics of the cellular cortex and its subdomains. Mechanical features of the optogenetic cell model will subsequently be tested at the TU/Eindhoven in the Conte Lab.

The in vitro experimental methods involved in this inquiry will include: i) a wide spectrum of molecular and cell biology techniques for the (optogenetical) manipulation of both cellular genotype and phenotype (e.g. plasmid engineering transfection/transduction, selection etc..); ii) advanced microscopy (including epifluorescence, phase contrast and confocal microscopy). To create the new cellular model, the candidate will build on established experimental protocols and optogenetic constructs as well as create new ones.  

You have

We are accepting applications from enthusiastic and highly talented PhDs who are interested in a dynamic, stimulating and ambitious environment to perform their research. We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:
  • A background in molecular and cell biology. Previous experience with optogenetics, microscopy techniques or 2D/3D cell culture will be a distinct advantage, along with competencies in computer-based quantification and analysis of experimental images (Matlab, ImageJ/FiJi or similar).
  • Ability to effectively communicate scientific ideas and have a capability for independent thinking.
  • Ability to work independently within a dynamic team and be proficient in written and spoken English.

Why join us

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, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation and installation, including your family and the availability of an excellent child care facility on campus.

What else you need to know

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with more than 1800 employees from many nations, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome. For more information, please visit also: