Post-doc / PhD position in systems / molecular biology

Post-doc / PhD position in systems / molecular biology

Published Deadline Location
16 Jan 12 Feb Groningen

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Proper cell growth

Job description

Proper cell growth and division is crucial for all forms of life. The Heinemann Lab at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) has recently uncovered that next to the well-known cyclin-dependent kinase system, metabolic oscillations have a crucial role in cell cycle control (Papagiannakis et al, 2017, Molecular Cell; Litsios et al 2019, Nature Cell Biology). However, it is not known yet how metabolism performs this cell cycle control. This is what we would like to find out in this project.

To this end, we will use budding yeast as a model and latest state-of-the-art fluorescence time-lapse microscopy and microfluidics as a key tool to uncover how metabolism performs this important function. Fluorescent reporter constructs will allow us to retrieve cell cycle-resolved information, and optogenetic tools and tools for inducible protein depletion will allow us to perturb the system dynamically and even with single-cell resolution. With combining in a clever manner knowledge from the literature, the insights from the dynamic observations during the cell cycle, and the targeted dynamic perturbations, we will be able to derive testable hypotheses on how metabolic cell cycle control is exerted.

Exploring on how an intrinsically dynamic cellular metabolism controls the process of cell growth and division is not only a great scientific adventure, but also harbors significant potential for medical relevance, as compromised cell cycle control has been attributed to several diseases, such as cancer.

About the University of Groningen
Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.


University of Groningen


Fluorescence microscopy, image analysis and molecular biology/genetics (i.e. to generate the reporter and perturbation constructs) will be important tools in this project. Yet, no prior experience in these tools are required. The reason for this is that we are convinced that excellent candidates with the right motivation can learn everything. Thus, if you find the topic of this project interesting, but you do not have any experience in these tools, do not hesitate to apply.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

The Heinemann lab is a mid-sized lab with around 10 lab members. This size is large enough for critical mass, but small enough to warrant excellent support from the advisor.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
- For the PhD position: a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month (based on fulltime employment) in the fourth and final year. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

For the postdoc position: an appointment of three years and a salary from a minimum of € 3,557 gross per month up to a maximum of € 4,670 gross per month (salary scale 10) based on a full-time position and dependent on qualification and work experience.
- a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees.

Eligibility criteria
To apply as a PhD student, the candidate needs to have a Master degree. To apply as a postdoc, the candidate needs to have a PhD degree, which must not have been awarded more than 8 years ago.

The two most important selection criteria for this position are (i) the "motivation" and (ii) the "creativity" of the candidate. With the right motivation, everything can be learned, meaning that the candidate does not need any particular prior skills/qualifications besides having a Master degree (or PhD in the case the candidate applies for the postdoc position). Our lab members come from many different disciplines and we have a great culture of learning and teaching each other.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V23.0028


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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