Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)
IBI-4 – Biomakromolekulare Systeme und Prozesse
Area of research:
Diplom & Master
The current paradigm assumes that local anaesthetics (LA) act by occupying binding pockets in Na-ion channels of nerve cells, thereby blocking signal transduction. More recently, however, evidence has accumulated that a less specific mechanism of action also plays a role. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies show, for example, that LAs preferentially accommodate into lipid membranes due to their amphiphilic nature, which alters the lateral pressure in the membranes. In the membranes of nerve cells, this could lead to ion channels being blocked without LA being incorporated into the channels.
It is therefore of great interest to quantify whether and to what extent LA change the lateral pressure in a membrane. As a first step in this direction, this project will use a Langmuir trough to measure how a series of LA affects the lateral pressure in a lipid monolayer. By systematically varying experimental parameters such as LA concentration, pH, etc. and correlating the results with existing data from NMR measurements, we will try to decipher non-specific mechanisms of LA action.
- Ongoing master’s study of physical chemistry or (soft condensed matter) physics
- Basic knowledge of data and error analysis, as well as computer and programming skills
- Interest in experimental and multidisciplinary work
- High motivation as well as self-directed learning and working
- Very proficient in written and spoken German and/or English
- Basic knowledge of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics is desirable
We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We support you in your work with:
- An interdisciplinary and international research environment, provided with state-of-the-art experimental equipment and versatile opportunities to develop your research interests
- Collaborative work environment including researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- Ideal conditions for gaining practical experience alongside your studies
- Qualified support through your scientific colleagues
- A reasonable allowance to cover your commuting costs
We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.
This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.
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