Doctoral Positions in Computational Membrane Biophysics

Applications are invited for PhD positions in our lab for theoretical and computational membrane biophysics at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

Plasma membranes and in general biomembranes establish and maintain differences in composition between the cell or organelle interior and exterior. Biomembranes are the site for cell-cell recognition, they allow active and passive transport of material into and out of the cell, and they harbour proteins as initiators of signal transduction pathways.

Project 1. The research project addresses the physico-chemical driving forces for the establishment of membrane domains within the immune cell plasma membrane, and their role for sensing of external signals by immune receptors and signal transduction, as well as membrane remodeling. The aim is to shed light on the cooperative action of proteins and lipids in shaping biomembrane structure. Central questions are

  • How are external signals sensed by immune cells, how do lipids contribute to signal transfer across the cell membrane, and how do lipids modulate immune cell activation?
  • What is the role of plasma membrane domains in immune cell activation?
  • Can we modulate or control immune cell function by cell membrane composition?

Position 2: The overall goal of the project is the identification of membrane-active peptides that (i) improve the efficiency of classical antibiotics and (ii) enable antibiotics with high target affinity but low or non-existent membrane permeability to efficiently reach their target. The project will investigate in cooperation with groups in Jena, Borstel, and Hamburg the synergistic mechanisms between different antimicrobial peptides and cell-penetrating peptides and small compound antibiotics. We aim to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action to target the relevant characteristics.

Applicants for doctoral positions:

Candidates should preferably hold a master degree in bio-/physics, theoretical/computational chemistry, life sciences or similar and a strong interest in interdisciplinary projects and collaborations to medical/immunology groups.

Other requirements:

High level of English and good communication skills; effective team working.


Erlangen is a center for immunobiology with more than 70 groups focusing on immunological topics. In addition, since 2021, the University of Erlangen hosts a National High Performance Computing Center ( with a focus on atomistic simulations.

Interested candidates should send one pdf document containing a cover letter, CV, and certificates