PhD Position - Group Thomä

A PhD position is available in the group of Nicolas Thomä at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) to study the Molecular basis of thalidomide action. This position is one of 13 PhD positions funded by the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network UbiCODE, dedicated to decipher the ubiquitin code.

Summary of the project: Thalidomide (Contergan) was introduced to the European market in 1957 as a sedative. Unfortunately it took more than two years before its teratogenicity was discovered. Thalidomide and its second-generation derivatives (together known as IMiDs) have since been recognized as potent anticancer drugs, and are now widely used in treating multiple myeloma and 5q-dysplasia. The primary cellular target of thalidomide is CRBN (CeRClon) as integrated into the CRL4CRBN complex, an E3 Ub ligase. IMiDs prevent endogenous substrate, such as the transcription factor MEIS2 from binding, and also induce degradation of neo-substrates such as IKZF1/2 and Ck1a. The underlying molecular mechanism is unknown. We will use MS based half-life measurement to identify novel endogenous and neo-substrates, and resolve their mode of binding to CRL4CRB by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, as a model for E3 ligases regulation. For more information please see the description on the UbiCODE page Group Thomä.

The position requires a highly motivated student with training in structural biology, biophysics, cell biology or chemical biology

The FMI is an international institute in Basel, Switzerland, devoted to fundamental biomedical research aimed at understanding the basic molecular mechanisms of health and disease. Affiliated with the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and the University of Basel, the FMI provides interdisciplinary training and access to advanced technologies in the form of state-of-the-art technology platforms.

Application instructions, qualifications, forms and further information may be found on the UbiCODE Application Site. The deadline in March 31, 2018. Furthermore, candidates will also need to apply to the FMI International PhD Program. Please see for more information.

We look forward to your application

Nicolas Thomä
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

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