Prof. Petra Wendler - Biochemistry, Cryo-Electron Microscopy

PhD Position in Cryo Electron Microscopy of Rhodopsin Cyclases (f/m/d)

One PhD position is available at the University of Potsdam in the research group of Prof. Dr. Petra Wendler to work on single particle cryo electron microscopy of rhodopsin cyclases.

Project description:

Eukaryotic rhodopsin guanylyl cyclases (RhGC) and rhodopsin phosphodiesterases (RhPDE) combine a rhodopsin photoreceptor module with an enzymatic unit that catalyzes the conversion of cyclic nucleotides to the corresponding 5’-phosphate nucleotide or vice versa. Hence, they confer a light-induced catalytic function to cells, which has the potential to be widely exploited in optogenetic applications. The goal of this project is to determine the structure of fungal RhGC at high resolution.

We use single particle cryo electron microscopy in combination with other biophysical techniques to obtain structural snapshots of the complex enabling us to deduce its function. The successful applicant is expected to collect and analyze data, participate in the experimental design and method development, and to closely interact with our collaborators in in the UniSysCat cluster of excellence and in particular with the group of Prof. Peter Hegemann (HU Berlin). Techniques involved will include handling of multi protein complexes, high resolution imaging using cryo EM, image processing, 3D reconstruction and molecular modeling.

Relevant publications:
Scheib U, Broser M, Constantin OM, Yang S, Gao S, Mukherjee S, Stehfest K, Nagel G, Gee CE, Hegemann P (2018) Rhodopsin-cyclases for photocontrol of cGMP/cAMP and 2.3 A structure of the adenylyl cyclase domain. Nature Communications 9 (1):2046. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04428-w


You should have a University degree in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Physics or other related fields, and have a strong interest in biology and biophysical techniques. Computational skills or experience in statistical analysis are an advantage. You should also have excellent technical skills, good interpersonal skills and the enthusiasm to apply and develop new techniques.

Scientific Environment:

The PhD position is funded by the UniSysCat (Unifying Systems in Catalysis) cluster of excellence, bringing together chemists, biologists and engineers to advance basic research into applied processes. Potsdam University is located in the Berlin/Brandenburg research area. It is dedicated to excellent research and teaching, offering a stimulating environment, including open minded, ambitious young teams and state-of-the-art scientific training.


The position will be funded initially until the end of 2025 according to 2/3 TV-L E13. An extension of the position is expected. There will be interviews from now on until the position has been filled. Potsdam University is an equal opportunity employer. Handicapped candidates with equal qualifications will be given preference.

How to apply:

Further information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Petra Wendler. Please send your application in English or German by email to The application should comprise a cover letter with a brief statement of research experience and interests, a CV as well as copies of undergraduate and graduate certificates.

Prof. Dr. Petra Wendler
Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Universität Potsdam Universität Potsdam
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25
14476 Potsdam-Golm
Tel: +49 (0)331 9775130
Email: petra.wendler(at)

University of Potsdam:

Young, modern, research-oriented: Founded in 1991, the University of Potsdam has firmly established itself in the scientific landscape. At Brandenburg's largest university, nationally and internationally renowned scientists conduct research and teach. The University of Potsdam has a high level of third-party funding, impresses with its achievements in technology and knowledge transfer, and has a service-oriented administration. With around 22,000 students on three campuses - Am Neuen Palais, Griebnitzsee and Golm - the University of Potsdam is an outstanding economic factor and development engine for the region. It has more than 3,000 employees and is one of the most beautifully located academic institutions in Germany.