ORGANISATION/COMPANYÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
RESEARCH FIELDPhysics › Optics
RESEARCHER PROFILEFirst Stage Researcher (R1)
APPLICATION DEADLINE20/10/2019 10:00 - Europe/Brussels
LOCATIONSwitzerland › Lausanne
TYPE OF CONTRACTTemporary
HOURS PER WEEK40
OFFER STARTING DATE01/11/2019
EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMMEH2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
MARIE CURIE GRANT AGREEMENT NUMBER860592
The positions are part of the Innovative Training Network (ITN) “PROTON”. The network is devoted to the investigation of proton transport and proton-coupled transport. It is funded under Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019, grant agreement number: 860592).
The successful applicant will perform her/his studies and research at the at the Laboratory for fundamental BioPhotonics (LBP) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.
Proton transfer is crucial in numerous biological and chemical processes, e.g. in cellular proton pumps or in hydrogen fuel cells. Even though the empirical study of H+ ions began with the origin of chemistry, many details of the proton transfer mechanism are still unresolved and understanding the way in which confined water mediates proton dynamics remains a fundamental challenge in chemistry and biochemistry. Newly developed label-free and charge-sensitive dynamic imaging techniques of lipid membrane hydration, and the hydration of active sites now offer the possibility to explore the interplay between structural features of interfacial hydration and proton migration on the molecular level and on sub-second time scales.
The two PhD positions have the following objectives:
1. The hydrated interfacial layer of lipid membranes plays an important role in the distribution and transport of ions. The structure of water and ions are intimately related and how they interact precisely with the membrane and its constituents is not known, mainly due to a lack of sufficiently sensitive noninvasive spectroscopic / microscopic tools. To quantify the molecular level structural of the hydrated interfacial layer of membranes and changes therein when proton transport occurs, we apply our newly developed high throughput nonlinear imaging and light scattering techniques that allow to probe the interactions of interfacial lipids, water and ions.
2. Ion channels are the most important membrane related signaling element in cells. They are generally studied using a structural biology approach, which means there is often some information about passive structure (e.g. in the crystalline form), but not during ion channel activity. By spatiotemporal and spectroscopic mapping of water molecules and ions in and near active or passive ion channels, using second harmonic and sum frequency scattering of ion channels in (liposome) membranes, we will aim to determine the molecular structure of the water, as well as the conformation of the channels and the adjacent membrane molecules.
This research has many interdisciplinary aspects that demand a highly motivated candidate with strong analytical abilities, and someone who is able to think out of the box. The diverse aspects of the project require a backgrounds that includes photonics, physics, physical chemistry, material science or electrical engineering. Experience in nonlinear optics / microscopy, or ultrafast (vibrational) spectroscopy is another asset. EPFL offers excellent working conditions and a state-of-the-art infrastructure in a highly dynamic and international environment at the forefront of research.
The Application Procedure
Applications should include a motivation letter, detailed CV, transcripts of diplomas as well as three letters of reference. In conjunction to the application the candidate must be accepted by one of the doctoral schools: photonics, materials science, or bioengineering (http://phd.epfl.ch/page-19793-en.html).
More Information & contact
Work conditions are in accordance with H2020 guidelines. Feel free to contact us in case of further questions. Contact: email@example.com
Required Research Experiences
YEARS OF RESEARCH EXPERIENCE1 - 4
REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVELPhysics: Master Degree or equivalent
REQUIRED LANGUAGESENGLISH: Good
- Applicants must, at the date of recruitment by PROTON, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate) of their research careers
- They should not have been awarded a doctoral degree.
- Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. This excludes short stays such as holidays or compulsory national service.
- Knowledge of the English language is essential.
The research has many interdisciplinary aspects that demand a highly motivated candidate with strong analytical abilities, and someone who is able to think out of the box. The diverse aspects of the project require a backgrounds that includes photonics, physics, physical chemistry, material science or electrical engineering. Experience in nonlinear optics / microscopy, or ultrafast (vibrational) spectroscopy is another asset. Please attach scientific publications that you have (co)authored.
Women are encouraged to apply. The recruitment committee gives preference to female candidates if they are equally qualified as male candidates.
EURAXESS offer ID: 448973
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