April 09, 2019

PhD position in Life Sciences

Within the SFB 894 Ca2+ signals: Molecular Mechanisms and Integrative Functions, the following PhD position is available in the lab of Dr. Sven Lang (Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and Prof. Dr. Adolfo Cavalié (Experimentelle und Klinische Pharmakologie und Toxikologie) at the Faculty of Medicine, Saarland University, Homburg:

Mechanisms and regulation of the Sec61-mediated Ca2+ leakage from the ER
In mammalian cells a large volume of the cytoplasm is occupied by a tubular network called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Within the ER membrane resides the pore-forming Sec61 complex which mediates the translocation of most precursor proteins entering the ER and the efflux of calcium from the ER. Thus, the Sec61 complex is intimately linked to protein biogenesis and calcium signaling (Lang et al. 2017). Aside from the mechanistic details of the Sec61-mediated protein and calcium flux our labs address regulation of the Sec61 complex by accompanying partner proteins as well as pharmacological modulation by small molecules (Nguyen et al. 2018, Gamayun et al. 2019). In addition, our recent work led to the identification of the first, active ATP transporter of the mammalian ER membrane (Klein et al. 2018).

To study the intricate functions of the Sec61 complex our labs use a multitude of assays and techniques. We investigate the transport of soluble and membrane proteins using a reconstituted assay combining cellular ER fractions and in vitro synthesis of radioactively labeled precursor proteins. Membrane translocation or integration is visualized by specific ER-limited posttranslational modifications (Dudek et al. 2013). Live-cell imaging employing compartmentalized sensors such as FURA-2 or genetically encoded probes like GCaMP-150 and ERAT4.01 is the method of choice to address calcium and ATP flux across the ER membrane, respectively. We routinely combine such sensors with siRNA mediated gene silencing and genetic complementation for different targets of interest including the Sec61 complex (Lang et al. 2011). Furthermore, with the increasing number of disease-associated variants our characterization of Sec61-mediated processes addresses the underlying patho-mechanisms of various disease-relevant alleles in cellular model systems or mouse-tissues. Our efforts are further supplemented by employing a medium-throughput screening platform for cellular calcium flux measurements addressing the impact of small molecules on calcium homeostasis.

We invite applications from highly qualified and motivated students of any nationality, who are interested in studying the mechanisms and regulation of the Sec61-mediated Ca2+ leakage from ER. We are looking forward to your application. The funding covers a period of 3.5 years starting from August 2019. For further information don’t hesitate to contact us ( or or go to



December 12, 2018

Several PhD positions available with immediate effect (Pharmacology, Homburg)

  1. The Cavbeta3 protein as a pharmacological target to accelerate wound healing, to increase bone mineralization and to tighten the blood-brain barrier.
  2. The function and pharmacological properties of the ‘calcium channel flower domain-containing protein 1’ (Cacfd1) in brain capillary endothelial cells.
  3. The function and pharmacological properties of the ‘transient receptor potential canonical 1’ (TRPC1) channel in the liver.


December 7, 2018

PhD position (Medical Biochemistry & Molecular Biology): Biogenesis and Function of Lipid Droplets
We are looking for a highly motivated scientist to join our young and growing team as a PhD student.

The position is immediately available at the
Department of Medical Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Center for Molecular Signaling (PZMS)
at Saarland University
in the research group of
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bianca Schrul.

Our research group is interested in the biogenesis and function of lipid droplets. These subcellular organelles dynamically balance the influx, storage and consumption of neutral lipids in nearly all cells of our body and are therefore central hubs in lipid metabolism. Lipid droplets are implicated in a range of human pathologies including hallmark diseases of our modern society such as obesity, diabetes, hepatic steatosis and cardiovascular disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying lipid droplet biogenesis and function as well as pathologic aberrations in these processes remain largely unknown. Projects in our lab address the following questions:

• What are the molecular mechanisms underlying protein targeting and insertion into the limiting membrane of lipid droplets?
• How is lipid droplet biogenesis from the endoplasmic reticulum membrane regulated?
• How do lipid droplets communicate with other lipid metabolizing organelles to adapt to metabolic changes?

We employ a range of biochemical and cell biological techniques including in vitro reconstitution experiments, protein-interaction studies, organelle / protein isolations, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, RNA interference as well as advanced fluorescence and electron microscopy.

Further information and publications can be found on our website:

Qualification profile
We are looking for a highly motivated scientist with the following qualifications:
– excellent Diploma / M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related discipline
– strong interest in basic Biochemical and Cell Biological research
– excellent communication skills
– fluent English (oral and written) is essential
– German language skills are desired

– Our young research team is integrated in an interdisciplinary and diverse research environment offering state-of-the-art technology and excellent scientific exchange.
– Further training opportunities are provided by Saarland University´s Graduate Centre GradUS.
– The position is immediately available for the duration of 3 years with the possibility of extension.

Please send your application including a short cover letter stating your research interests, a CV, degree certificates and contacts for two references via e-mail to Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bianca Schrul:


November 20, 2018

The group of Jun.-Prof. Daniela Yildiz in Homburg (Molecular Pharmacology) currently offers two positions for PhD students (in house/third-party funding). For further information, please visit