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[ccp4bb] PhD position at IOCB, Prague

PhD Position in Structural Parasitology at IOCB, Prague

Job description

A PhD position is open in Dr Sebastian Zoll‘s structural biology group at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) in Prague. The group is interested in understanding the structural basis of interaction between surface proteins of eukaryotic parasites and human host factors to provide a foundation for the development of novel therapeutic strategies against neglected tropical diseases. The successful candidate will be using an integrated structural biology approach including X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering as well as single particle Cryo-EM together with a wide range of biophysical techniques for characterisation of protein-protein/ligand interactions. The position will also include training in the growing field of recombinant antibody and nanobody technology which the candidate will be applying in structural studies as well as in the development of therapeutics. The project is supported by a multidisciplinary network of international collaborators and provides excellent opportunities to receive additional training in foreign host institutions.

The institute and the city

The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) in Prague is the leading scientific research institution in the Czech Republic providing a dynamic, international environment that brings together researchers from various fields such as structural biology, molecular biology, medicinal and computational chemistry. 

IOCB is situated near the city centre in a vibrating, historical quarter of Prague boasting beautiful architecture and a rich array of public amenities such as cafés, pubs, parks and grocery stores. Transport links by metro and tram are excellent with short distances to both airport as well as old town and Letna park with its stunning views over the Vltava river. 

Due to its long-standing history in applied science and strong ties with the pharmaceutical industry, IOCB enjoys an excellent funding situation and offers access to facilities for all modern structural and biophysical methods. Bacterial and eukaryotic protein _expression_ platforms are available as well as Mass Spectrometry and NMR facilities and a computing cluster for data processing, structure determination and Rosetta-based protein modelling. A state-of-the-art crystallisation facility contains robotics for 96-well-plate crystallisation and liquid handling, a Rigaku imaging hotel and an X-ray generator equipped with a Pilatus 300K detector. For high-resolution data collection there are also regular trips to European synchrotrons. Furthermore, a 200 keV cryo-electron microscope will become operational within the next 2 years at IOCB. In the meanwhile IOCB researchers enjoy privileged access to the EM facilities (screening microscopes and Titan Krios) at CEITEC. 


We are looking for candidates with an M.Sc. in biology, biochemistry or a related discipline and a strong interest in structural biology. The successful candidate must be willing to work as part of a team and have the motivation and commitment to design experiments and interpret results independently. Experience in structural biology techniques is not required but familiarity with recombinant protein _expression_ and protein purification will be a plus. Good oral and written communication skills in English are a prerequisite.

How to apply?

Please send a short motivation statement (max. 500 words), a copy of your research thesis and M.Sc. certificate, a copy of your CV and contact information for two references to sebastian.zoll@uochb.cas.cz

Feel free to contact Sebastian for informal enquiries.

Dr Sebastian Zoll
Junior Group Leader
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Czech Academy of Sciences
Flemingovo namesti 542/2, 166 10 Prague 6
Czech Republic
Phone: +420 220 183 591
Email: sebastian.zoll@uochb.cas.cz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IOCBPrague

Recent relevant publications:

Zoll S, Lane-Serff H, Mehmood S, Schneider J, Robinson CV, Carrington M, Higgins MK (2018) The structure of serum resistance-associated protein and its implications for human African trypanosomiasis. Nature Microbiology 3: 295-301

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