We are currently looking for excellent and highly motivated Ph.D candidates for a three-year French scholarship at Aix Marseille Université. Candidates should have a strong expertise in Physical Chemistry and/or Coordination chemistry. Candidates with additional expertise in protein chemistry and biochemistry are highly encouraged.
Deadline for starting: fall 2015.
Salary : ca. 1680 €/month (net salary ca. 1360 € / month)

Research project
Obtaining accurate and relevant structural data of a macromolecule is an important step towards the understanding of the chemical mechanisms involved in the biological functions and is therefore an essential knowledge for pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications. Proteins are dynamic entities that possess an inherent flexibility, a fundamental property that allows them to function through molecular interactions with other molecules (either substrates, cofactors or proteins). A powerful technique to study dynamics of proteins and to monitor structural transitions is the Site-Directed Spin Labeling (SDSL) followed by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). It is based on the insertion of a paramagnetic label (usually a nitroxide radical) at a selected site of a protein, either on a native residue or on a specific residue introduced by site-directed mutagenesis, and its subsequent analysis by EPR spectroscopy. SDSL-EPR has been proven to be a useful tool to gain structural and dynamic information on many biological systems addressing various questions for example on: folding events of disordered proteins or conformational changes of folded protein, protein-protein interactions, protein-membrane interactions, as well as on RNA.