Research Position | Published on 15.04.2020 |
Description of project
The cellular interior is separated from an external environment by a selectively-permeable cytoplasmic membrane. Interactions with antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) can disrupt the membrane barrier function. AMPs are part of the host-defense system of many organisms and promising candidates to become a new class of therapeutics to prevent the forecast of 10 million deaths per year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 2050. The aim of this project is to design new peptides that selectively target and disrupt the membranes of pathogens but not those of human cells. To obtain such peptides, we will develop a novel coarse-grained model of membranes, which will enable us to establish the relationship between peptide sequence motifs and their affinity to membranes with specific lipid compositions. Moreover, free energy calculations will be used to identify the critical peptide features required for membrane disruption. The project will be complemented by experiments providing verification and feedback for peptide-membrane affinity and disruption. The successful candidates will be evaluated for antimicrobial activity and human cell toxicity. These findings could be utilized in the design of new pharmacologically-relevant peptide therapeutics or as sensors and biomarkers.
Anticipated start date: Negotiable
Applications including CV, contacts for referees and a brief motivation letter should be sent by e-mail to email@example.com. Please quote the “Postdoc - peptide killers” in the subject.
CEITEC is a scientific centre in the fields of life sciences, advanced materials and technologies whose aim is to establish itself as a recognized centre for basic as well as applied research. CEITEC offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure and great conditions to employ excellent researchers. Our institute values diversity and promotes an inclusive working environment with the aim to support the best scientists. CEITEC MU is a proud holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award by the European Commission. (http://muni.ceitec.cz/en/hr-strategy-hrs4r/)
A postdoc position is available in the Robert Vácha lab (vacha.ceitec.cz; CEITEC, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic). We are seeking a person with expertise in computer simulations of proteins and membranes and experience with free energy calculations. Research will be conducted at CEITEC located in the life science campus of Masaryk University (Brno, Bohunice, https://www.ceitec.eu/).
Information about Brno, Czech Republic
For further information about:
Start date: negotiable
Opened Until: 30.6.2020