PhD Scholarship in Biophysics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD position in spectroscopy at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The funding allows successful candidate to work for two years. This position is closed on February 06, 2019.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe's leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden's largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The Syrn lab ( is together with Prof. Hjalmar Brismar's group currently recruiting a joint PhD-student in biophysics. The research area of the PhD-student is centered on studying the impact of water on protein dynamics and catalysis, utilizing interdisciplinary techniques that embrace enzyme design, molecular dynamics simulations and microscopy.

Water molecules are central for the function of all proteins. Surprisingly, our understanding of interactions between water, protein surfaces and ligands/transition states is poorly developed. In this project we hypothesize that spectator water molecules have an even more key role for protein function than previously believed, and that relocation of water networks during enzyme turnover has an impact in enzyme catalysis and motion.

To test this hypothesis, we will use synthetic biology and protein design in concert with state-of-the-art microscopy and spectroscopy. A cornerstone of the project is to affect hydration of protein interiors, and associated water dynamics, by rational enzyme design; a paradigm that remains unresolved in enzyme design today. Here, we will use innovative protein design strategies developed in the lab of Syrn to engineer water networks in two model systems: a terpene cyclase (Subproject 1) and a Na,K-ATPase, (Subproject 2). The overarching goal is to generate enzymes with enhanced catalytic versatility and altered dynamics. Measurement of protein diffusion of generated variants will be performed in vivo using microscopy techniques. We will use GUVs and oocyte based model systems to perform electrophysiological recordings of transport/enzyme activity and spectroscopic recordings based on FCS for single molecule diffusion properties. The position will be placed at the Science for Life Laboratory in Solna and at the Department of fibre and polymer technology.

In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work.

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Apply for the position and admission through KTH’s recruitment system. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).


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