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Ph.D in Biological / Physical chemistry in Marseille (France)
Université d'Aix Marseille, CNRS, Marseille
Institut des Sciences Moléculaires de Marseille
Chemistry (other) Biochemistry Physical Chemistry 
Full Description:

We are currently looking for excellent and highly motivated Ph.D candidates for a three-year French scholarship at Aix Marseille Université. Candidates should have a good expertise in chemistry and physical chemistry. Candidates with additional expertise in protein chemistry and biochemistry are highly encouraged. The project is supported by the excellence institute of Aix Marseille University (A*MIDEX).

Research project: Obtaining accurate and relevant structural data of a macromolecule is an important step towards the understanding of the chemical mechanisms involved in the biological functions and is therefore an essential knowledge for pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications. Proteins are dynamic entities that possess an inherent flexibility, a fundamental property that allows them to function through molecular interactions with other molecules (either substrates, cofactors or proteins). A powerful technique to study dynamics of proteins and to monitor structural transitions is the Site-Directed Spin Labeling (SDSL) followed by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). It is based on the insertion of a paramagnetic label (usually a nitroxide radical) at a selected site of a protein, either on a native residue or on a specific residue introduced by site-directed mutagenesis, and its subsequent analysis by EPR spectroscopy. SDSL-EPR has been proven to be a useful tool to gain structural and dynamic information on many biological systems addressing various questions for example on: folding events of disordered proteins or conformational changes of folded protein, protein-protein interactions, protein-membrane interactions, as well as on RNA.

This project is centered on exploring the structure and dynamics of a non heme Fe(II) containing enzyme using SDSL-EPR. In addition, one innovating aim of the project is to get structural information both in vitro and in cell. The candidate will therefore be involved in the production of the proteins, the chemical modification steps to introduce the spin labels, the characterization of the labeled proteins and the EPR studies. This project relies on the strong collaboration between two teams of Aix Marseille University: i) the BiosCiences group of iSm2 (UMR 7313 CNRS/Aix Marseille Université) that has a strong expertise in the field of metal-containing enzymes and ii) the BIP (UMR 7281 CNRS/Aix Marseille Université) that has a longstanding expertise in the application of EPR spectroscopy in particular for studying metalloproteins and developing original SDSL-EPR approaches. The thesis will therefore be co-directed by Dr. A. Jalila Simaan (iSm2) and Prof. Valérie Belle (BIP). This project is also strengthened by the multidisciplinary EPR center of Aix Marseille, one of the most important EPR centers of the French EPR network (TGE-RPE).


Application: please send by e-mail: -your CV -a letter of motivation -transcripts of master and undergraduate studies, -at least 1 recommendation letter -a master thesis abstract

Posted on: 04 May 2015Deadline to apply: 30 June 2015Start Date: 01 October 2015 Duration: 36 months
The Fund category is Public Funding - University and the salary is 20-25k€ annual gross
Doctoral School is Chemical sciences in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region.

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