CeNS Center for NanoScience LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
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PhD position "Thermally driven emergence of functional RNA motifs"


Project: We are interested in the non-equilibrium conditions that allowed for the emergence of the first functional ribonucleotides (RNA). After their prebiotic polymerization, nature had to select for RNA strands that interact with each other and fold into enzymatically active structures. A simple spatial termperature difference could have suited as the key driving system here: It concentrates interacting, large complexes over single strands and aggregates them into protective hydrogel-habitats. Using thermal microfluidics, high throughput sequencing and RNA evolution, we will investigate all beneficial aspects of this non-equilibrium system for the emergence of life.

Requirements: We are looking for highly motivated and skilled PhD-candidates that integrate nicely in our open, flat-hierarchy work environment. Knowledge in basic programming (Python, Labview) and non-equilibrium & bio-physics are required. The PhD student will work closely together with a collaborating biochemistry group that covers the RNA synthesis, sequencing and evolution part of the project.

Link to Dr. Mast webpage: http://www.biosystems.physik.lmu.de/index.html