Researcher in Transmembrane Protein-Mediated Loading of Synthetic Compartments

University of Basel Swiss Nanoscience Institute


Protein-Mediated Loading of Synthetic Compartments

100% position for 4 years, earliest starting date: 1 January 2021

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel invites highly motivated scientists to apply for the SNI PhD program in Nanoscience.

Your position

Compartmentalization, a prerequisite for the spatiotemporal control of biochemical pathways in cells, is an emerging concept in the design of new materials for medical and technological applications. Synthetic nano- and micro-compartments (NCs, MCs) with their chemical versatility and superior stability provide the basis for developing catalytic compartments, artificial organelles or cell mimics furnished with specific biomolecules. However, a higher compartment loading efficiency and better permeability of the synthetic membrane remain hurdles that need to be overcome to increase the efficacy of in situ reactions.

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to develop next generation functional synthetic compartments whose composition is controlled by special transmembrane proteins that deliver or selectively let molecules pass to the interior, and to test their activity in vitro. By inserting distinct membrane proteins in the synthetic membrane of compartments we plan to deliver proteins to the compartment interior or to allow a specific molecular flow across the membrane (see Fig. 1 in pdf on application website).

Our study focuses on generating novel functional compartments by a combination of cutting-edge design of nano science-based compartments and state-of-the art methods in membrane protein expression and includes an array of methods for the detailed investigation of theses compartments in vitro. Importantly, this study takes advantage of a broad range of expertise and established techniques in the collaborating labs.

Your profile

  • you have a MSci degree in chemistry, biochemistry or material science
  • knowledge of colloidal chemistry and self-assembly of amphiphilic polymers
  • basic knowledge of biochemical (e.g. SDS-PAGE, gel filtration) and physical chemistry methods (e.g. NMR, GPC, IR and light scattering)
  • basic knowledge in production, purification and characterization of proteins is a bonus
  • proficiency in English and ideally in German
  • good social and communication skills for integration into an international research team

We offer you

  • Excellent scientific and social environment
  • Very competitive employment conditions
  • Membership in a very supportive and recognised community
The successful candidate will join an attractive interdisciplinary programme together with the ~30 currently supported scientists. The SNI covers a wide variety of topics, including cutting edge quantum physics and chemistry, material science, nanotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, or medical research.
Application / Contact

More information and the online application platform can be found at For questions please contact the head of the SNI PhD program, Dr. Andreas Baumgartner (, or directly the respective project leaders. The complete application has to be submitted before 31 December 2020. Please note that the decision to fill a given vacancy can be taken at any time from now.

In your application, please refer to


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