Postdoctoral Positions to study DNA/RNA epigenetic modifications
– Niehrs Lab, Mainz (Germany)

Posted on December 15,

The Niehrs laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology (in Mainz, Germany) is looking for two Molecular Biologists to join its ERC-funded group.

The laboratory of Christof Niehrs studies regulatory DNA and RNA modifications, which play important roles in development & disease. We utilize highly sensitive mass spectrometry (Triple Quadrupole Mass Spec) and stable isotope metabolic labelling to profile epigenetic and epitranscriptomic changes, including 5mC, 5hmC, 5fC, 5caC, m6A, and others. Moreover, we have recently demonstrated a role for long non-coding RNAs and R-loop DNA:RNA hybrids in DNA methylation (Arab et al. 2014; Arab et al. 2019). There are two projects available:

 i.     non-coding RNA & R-loop epigenetics

You will make use of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to interrogate genome-wide the role of ncRNAs and R-loops in targeting GADD45a and the DNA demethylation machinery in the genome. We will use CRISPR/CAS9 mediated ESC mutants, as well as ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, bisulfite-seq to carry out multi- dimensional data analysis to address: Where in the genome does demethylation occur? What are the molecular determinants in ncRNA & Rloops involved in targeting? What are the cofactors involved? The project will be ERC-funded and will involve strong interaction between the Molecular- and the Computational Biologist.

ii.      Mass spectrometry and molecular biology of epigenetic DNA/RNA modifications

The successful candidate will study nucleic acid modifying enzymes to unravel how chemical modifications in DNA, RNA and R-loops regulate pluripotency and differentiation of mammalian embryonic stem cells and embryos (project i). You will use mass spectrometry, genome-edited CRISPR/Cas9 stem cell mutants, as well as various NGS protocols to carry out a multi- dimensional analysis to address: Which modifications can be identified and how do they change with different cellular states? Where in the genome and in which RNAs do the modifications occur? What are molecular determinants involved in targeting of modifications to specific sites? The project will involve strong interaction with computational biologists.

Applicants should currently hold a PhD or be about to complete their doctoral studies. Applicants will have PhD & publications in a relevant field and sound experience in molecular biology. They will also speak fluent English, as this is the working language at IMB. For more information on the projects and their requirements, please visit https://www.imb.de/students-postdocs/imb-postdoc-programme/apply-to-the-ippro/apply-to-the-ippro-new/christof-niehrs-2 (project i) and https://www.imb.de/students-postdocs/imb-postdoc-programme/apply-for-postdoc-positions-at-imb/christof-niehrs (project ii).

The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB, www.imb.de) is a centre of basic research on the campus of Mainz University, Germany. Our research focuses on the biology of the nucleus, ranging from the molecular to the organismic level. We are currently recruiting new postdocs that will benefit from the training activities and receive active support for their career development through our IMB Postdoc Programme (IPPro).

If you are interested in these positions and you think you would be a good fit, please apply at www.imb.de/postdocs. The deadline for applications is 28 January 2021. Interviews will take place online. Interview dates will be announced once available.