The scientific mission of the department of biomedical sciences, made up of more than 15 research groups and nearly 120 collaborators, is to study the biological mechanisms that govern the function of the human body and are responsible for the appearance of various diseases. The laboratory of Prof. Christian Widmann investigate the uptake mechanisms of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and physiological proteins bearing CPP sequences such as homeoproteins. CPPs generally correspond to short cationic peptides. They are often present in anti-cancer and anti-microbial peptides but also found in important signaling proteins such as homeoproteins. CPPs allow the intracellular delivery of cargo molecules that are hooked to them. Despite their potential practical applications, the mechanisms of CPP entry inside cells are ill-defined and even controversial. The current focus of our laboratory is to characterize the mechanism of CPP cell entry via direct translocation or via endocytosis and how they escape endosomes when they use this later entry route. We also investigate how physiological molecules that naturally bear cell-penetrating sequences, such as homeoproteins, enter cells.
We are seeking to recruit a highly motivated PhD student to investigate the mechanistic aspects of cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) entry into cells. The PhD student will in particular work on a newly identified endocytic pathway that we have discovered and that needs now to be further characterized at the molecular and mechanistic level. Please refer to our Research page for information on the ways CPPs enter cells.
The successful applicant will have a master in cell biology, biochemistry or a related biological discipline. Required qualifications include prior knowledge on CPPs and endocytosis, creativity, the capacity to maintain excellent documentation of their work, to collaborate proficiently, and to communicate effectively with colleagues.
Contact and Address
Applications containing a CV, a brief statement of your research experience and interests as well as contact information of 2-3 references should be sent to Pr. Christian Widmann (Christian.Widmannunil.ch).