achim kramer lab









journal club

project seminar


Students are welcome to inquire for short-term courses in the lab.

Open Postdoc and PhD Student Positions:

Exploring the molecular basis of circadian rhythms in mammals

Here, we offer to investigate both experimentally (Postdoc position) and with mathematical modelling (PhD student position) one potentially crucial switch-like event in the mammalian circadian clockwork, i.e. the heterodimerization of the key clock components PERIOD2 (PER2) and CRYPTOCHROME1 (CRY1). Upon their interaction, this cellular switch initiates a cascade of events that includes building of a huge multi-protein complex (> 1 MDa), accumulation of phosphorylations, nuclear translocation and transcriptional repression. Our recent structural and biochemical data strongly suggest that this switch can be also regulated by redox balance thus representing a potential coupling node of the “classical” transcriptional/translational feedback loop with a recently discovered “ancient” metabolic proto-clock. To better understand the kinetics and dynamics of key events of circadian rhythm generation such as nuclear translocation or transcriptional regulation, we will perturb this PER2-CRY1 dimerization switch with rapidly acting chemical tools in combination with live cell measurement of reporter cells. We will quantify the non-linearities and delays in feedback loops and compare them with theoretical predictions. Thereby we anticipate obtaining a quantitative description in space and time of the mechanisms of circadian rhythm generation in living cells. Moreover, we will explore in our specific system generic design principles of switches including cooperativity, complex formation, sequestration and positive feedback loops. We look for closely interacting, curious, highly motivated, and skilled postdoc and PhD student to lead this multidisciplinary research program. The projects will integrate biochemical analyses, live cell imaging, chemical biology, and mathematical modelling of the molecular clockwork in mammals. Required qualifications:

Postdoc (Kramer Lab):

  • A PhD degree in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology or related fields
  • Relevant lab expertise in biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology techniques
  • An outstanding academic record
  • Experience in microscopy techniques is advantageous.
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team.

  • PhD student (Herzel lab):

  • A degree in biochemistry, physics, bioinformatics or related fields
  • Experiences in computational biology
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

  • We offer a strong, internationally recognized and interdisciplinary working environment with an open academic atmosphere. Location in the center of the beautiful and exciting city of Berlin. The positions can start on 1st July 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The positions are for 3-4 years.

    To apply for a position or to get more information, please contact:

    Postdoc position: Professor Achim Kramer.

    PhD student position: Professor Hanspeter Herzel.