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Ref2010: Master Student (Protein Chemistry Facility)

We are looking for a highly motivated MSc student in the field of proteomics – focusing on method development in cross-linking mass spectrometry (XL – MS)

Our Group. At the Protein Chemistry Facility, we aim to develop new and powerful methods to increase sensitivity in protein identification, accuracy and precision of protein quantification or post-translational modification detection. Furthermore, we establish comprehensive strategies in the field of XL -MS ranging from sample preparation to optimization of data acquisition, data analysis and validation. To achieve these goals, we frequently collaborate with international research groups and industry.

The Project. XL-MS is being increasingly used in proteomics research to map sites of protein-protein interaction, gain low resolution structural information or to monitor conformational changes of protein complexes. In a cross-linking experiment, a reagent forms covalent bonds between specific residues that are in close spatial proximity to each other, thus revealing distance restraints between residues and hence interaction sites either within a protein or between different proteins. XL-MS has the unique ability to capture protein dynamics in situ, which renders it appropriate to study a range of situations where no other structural biology technique is applicable. In addition, XL-MS is a very sensitive technique that can be applied to endogenous levels of proteins, and proteins within complex mixtures.

Within the proposed masters project, XL-MS methods to study protein complexes or protein interaction networks within a living cell will be developed (i.e. specific enrichment of cross-linked peptides), new cross-linker reagents (i.e. with varying reactivity or MS cleavable functionalities) and their behavior will be tested. The obtained data will be used to benchmark and improve XL-MS analysis software. Recent related publications of our group are: Rampler et al., J Proteome Res 2015, Stieger et al. J Proteome Res. 2019, Beveridge et al., Nat. Commun. 2020, Matzinger et al., J. Proteome Res. 2020.

The proposed project will be supervised by a PostDoc and is scheduled to be completed within one year. The successful applicant will receive a monthly stipend of € 950, - (20 hours/month).

The Candidate. The successful candidate should hold a BSc degree in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry or a related field. Experience in mass spectrometry as well as in the wet lab are desirable. The candidate should be curious, creative and excited about learning about new topics and acquiring new skills! Despite the emphasis on technology development within our group, a candidate with experience, knowledge or curiosity at the interception of analytical chemistry and biochemistry will make a perfect match.

Our Environment. The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna is a basic research institute largely sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim embedded in the vibrant environment of the Vienna BioCenter – one of Europe’s largest science hubs with four research institutes, three universities and nearly 30 biotech companies. With around 250 employees from 40 countries, the IMP is committed to scientific discovery of fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying complex biological phenomena.

Please send your application (motivation letter, CV, contact details of at least one reference) by e-mail to karl.mechtler[at]imp.ac.at

Please note that we do not offer a full master program. Applicants will need to enroll or be enrolled in a master program that allows for research to be conducted at external institutions.