A 4 years fully funded PhD position is available at the Institute of Biochemistry, Life Sciences Center, for investigating the pleiotropic effects of statins. Statins are effective inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis, largely used for prevention of cardiovascular diseases. However, accumulating evidences suggest that statins, in addition to cholesterol lowering, exhibited anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immuno-modulatory effects. A big part of these pleiotropic effects are related to direct interaction with the cell membranes. We aim to elucidate how statins modify the membrane bilayers, using a combined approach based on biological and biophysical methods.
A fully-funded Marie Curie PhD position is open at Vilnius University Life Sciences Center Institute of Biotechnology (Lithuania) to pursue a directed evolution project using droplet microfluidics technology.
The successful candidate will master powerful droplet microfluidic technology and will apply it on a selected system to improve the desired biological activity. There will be a possibility to work on either the in vivo or in vitro system of choice. In case of in vivo system we will encapsulate individual cells into microfluidic droplets and screen for hydrolytic (or binding) activity of secreted proteins. We will seek to identify the mutations that contribute to improved enzyme variants and investigate how different selection pressures affect the biochemical properties of evolved enzyme. In case of in vitro system we will use create a population of artificial cells, that is, library of tiny water droplets each carrying unique gene and all biochemical components required for gene expression. Using this completely in vitro system we will aim to better understand the evolvability of promiscuous protein functions.
PhD student will be encouraged to visit our partner laboratories for 3-6 months internship (secondments) at Germany, France, Switzerland or U.K. to gain additional experience. Network-wide training events will include courses and workshops in soft lithography, fabrication, intellectual property rights, commercialization process, entrepreneurship and academic writing.
Successful applicants will be funded by the Marie Skodowska-Curie project “EVOdrops” within the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, under grant agreement No. 813786. The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 3 years, starting in October 2019.
Requirements and project-specific qualifications:
To be considered for a PhD position, candidate must meet the requirements for enrolment:
- You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Lithuania for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.
- You must have a Master or relevant higher education degree.
- Your proficiency in the English language should correspond to an ‘English B level’ or higher.
The ideal candidate would be:
- team player
- familiar with different molecular biology and analytical methods (prior experience in microfluidics is not required)
- prior wet lab experience
- advanced computational skills would be an asset
In the range of 28.800-36.000 EUR
The applicants should email following material:
- A curriculum vitae
- A personal motivation letter
- Academic degree diploma
- Proof of English proficiency (if possible)
- The names of two referees