Thursday, January 5, 2012

PhD position: Coupled Electron Transfer Processes in Proteins

Thesis Project in Molecular Simulation 
Institute of Structural Biology 
Grenoble, France

A grant for a thesis project starting in October 2012 and financed by the CEA is available at the Institute of Structurale Biology – Jean-Pierre Ebel in Grenoble, France. Applications must be made on the IRTELIS website (http://www-dsv.cea.fr/PhDtraining ou http://www- dsv.cea.fr/phd-program) before the beginning of March 2012. Interviews of selected candidates will be held later, normally in May.

Thesis supervisor: Martin Field (martin.field@ibs.fr and http://www.pdynamo.org

Coupled Electron Transfer Processes in Proteins

This thesis project will study coupled electron transfer processes (CETPs) in proteins using molecular modeling and simulation techniques. Electron transfer (ET) is an essential element of many biological transformations, but it rarely occurs in isolation and is most often found coupled to additional processes, such as light excitation, proton transfer and other types of chemical reaction. Although ET itself is well understood at a theoretical level, CETPs still present significant challenges. This project aims to investigate CETPs in two classes of system. The first are the fluorescent proteins for which CETPs have been implicated in many of the processes, including blinking, bleaching and radiation damage, that limit their usefulness in molecular biological applications. The second are artificially designed hydrogen-evolving complexes that use light to generate the necessary source of electrons for hydrogen production. The project will require some method development, given the current state-of-the-art, but the core of the project will focus on the applications, in close collaboration with experimental groups.

The Host Group
The thesis will take place in the DYNAMO/DYNAMOP research group at the Institute of Structurale Biology – Jean-Pierre Ebel (http://www.ibs.fr). The IBS is run jointly by the CEA, the CNRS and the Université Joseph Fourier University (Grenoble I) and is part of the Life Sciences Division of the CEA.

The DYNAMO/DYNAMOP group, led by Martin Field, specializes in the development and application of theoretical and computational techniques for studying the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their complexes (http://www.pdynamo.org and http://www.ibs.fr/groups/dynamics-and-kinetics-of-molecular/dynamo-560/?lang=en).

Grenoble

Grenoble is the capital of the French Alps. It possesses a unique mountain setting and is ideally situated for outdoor activities. The Grenoble area is an important centre of industry and science (the second largest in France) and is host to numerous cultural institutions. It is also the third largest student area in France with 60,000 students (including 6,000 foreign students).
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