Postdoc: Chaperone-guided formation of single protein complexes

Postdoc: Chaperone-guided formation of single protein complexes

Published Deadline Location
7 May 31 May Amsterdam

Job description

Work Activities
Do you want to discover how multi-protein assemblies are produced without error? The aim of this project is to reveal this vital cellular process at the single-molecule level. Our research group has been at the vanguard of studying chaperone-protein interactions using optical tweezers, which allows one to follow the movements and folding steps of individual proteins. We’ve shown striking sequences of molecular events that underlie chaperone functions, and are invisible with other methods. Here you will focus on a new frontier: how chaperones and ribosomes work together to synthesize and fold multi-protein assemblies.

You will directly follow the unknown dynamics of ribosome translation, protein folding and assembly, and chaperone guidance. This is enabled using optical tweezers combined with single-molecule fluorescence, which detect changes in individual molecules at nanometer and millisecond resolution. Direct collaboration with our partners provides complementary genome-wide in-vivo data (see below). This first single-molecule look at chaperone-guided protein-assembly biogenesis may reveal a host of unexpected phenomena. You will drive the conceptual development of new experimental schemes, the use of cutting-edge single-molecule fluorescence and manipulation methods, the adaptation of existing biochemical protocols, the AI-driven automated analysis of complex data, the formulation of new models, and the writing of scientific papers that explain your findings.

We form a lively and close-knit research group of about 10 PhD students and postdocs, which work together in small teams on various projects in a highly supportive and social atmosphere that extends to the other research groups at the AMOLF institute, which is housed in a modern building in the east of Amsterdam.

You will be part of a collaboration with leading groups at Heidelberg University and the ETH in Zurich, which use novel sequencing and cryo-EM methods. By working within this motivated group of young scientists, you will obtain a unique training, understanding and skill set in this expanding field. By integrating these approaches, you will provide insights of unprecedented detail, spanning from the cellular to the atomic level, from in vivo to in vitro, from genome-wide patterns to molecular mechanisms, and from bacteria to human cells.

We have a number of positions available. We are looking for outstanding experimental physicists or chemists with an interest in single-molecule techniques, programming skills to handle complex data, and who thrive in a diverse, collaborative, and supportive environment. Excellent verbal and written English skills are essential. You meet the requirements for an MSc-degree to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

Work environment
AMOLF is a part of NWO-I and initiate and performs leading fundamental research on the physics of complex forms of matter, and to create new functional materials, in partnership with academia and industry. The institute is located at Amsterdam Science Park and currently employs about 140 researchers and 80 support employees.

About the group:

Working conditions
  • The working atmosphere at the institute is largely determined by young, enthusiastic, mostly foreign employees. Communication is informal and runs through short lines of communication.
  • The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of 2+ years
  • Salary is in scale 10 (CAO-OI) which starts at 4.065 Euro’s gross per month, and a range of employment benefits.
  • AMOLF assists any new foreign Postdoc with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

More information?
For further information about the position, please contact

Prof. dr. ir. Sander Tans
Phone: +31-(0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.

Please annex your:
  • Resume;
  • Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).

It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. Hence, we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Diversity code
AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment: we want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select on the basis of competencies and talents. We strongly encourage anyone with the right qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical ability.

AMOLF has won the NNV Diversity Award 2022, which is awarded every two years by the Netherlands Physical Society for demonstrating the most successful implementation of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.




  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • max. €4065 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3326


Science Park 104, 1098XG, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).