Postdoctoral Position (m/f/div) on biochemical and structural analyses of epigenetic complexes

Posted 2 years ago

The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg, Germany is an interdisciplinary research institution that conducts basic research in two key areas of modern biology: Immunobiology and Epigenetics. Central questions address the molecular basis of cell type identities, as they are regulated during immune cell differentiation, metabolic response and epigenetic chromatin adaptation.

We are offering a

Postdoctoral Position (m/f/div)
on biochemical and structural analyses
of epigenetic complexes

A Postdoctoral Position is available in the lab of Dr. Asifa Akhtar (Department of Chromatin Regulation) at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg. The Akhtar lab uses a combi­nation of Drosophila and mouse models to investigate regulation by histone acetylation and non-coding RNA. This position is open immediately and initially funded for two years, with the possibility of extension.


The histone acetyltransferase MOF can associate with two complexes: the NSL complex and the MSL complex. Each of these complexes is an important and conserved epigenetic regulator with distinct gene targets. We are interested in using biochemical techniques to gain mechanistic insights into their function, including understanding how the individual components of the complexes interact with each other and how they choose their cromatin target.

Our past work provided pioneering structural characterization of the NSL and MSL complexes. Our crystal structures of mouse MSL1 with MOF and MSL3 as well as of MSL1 with MSL2 have proven invaluable in pinpointing essential amino acids at interaction interfaces within the MSL complex (Hallacli et al., 2012; Kadlec et al., 2011). Our structural analyses of the NSL complex also enabled us to map the interaction between NSL1 and WDS / WDR5, which when disrupted impairs chromatin targeting of the entire NSL complex (Dias et al., 2014).

Multiple protein components of both the NSL and MSL complexes contain large unstructured segments. We are therefore also interested in understanding the contributions of these intrinsically disordered regions, including whether these might be involved in multivalent protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions and whether these in turn might contribute to phase transition in the chromatin context.

The recruited postdoc will work on advancing our mechanistic understanding of the MSL and NSL complexes using a wide range of cutting-edge in vitro and in vivo methodologies.


We are looking for an independent, creative and highly motivated post-doctoral scientist interested in exploring the function of the MSL and/or NSL complex from a biochemical perspective. For this we seek applicants with a strong background in experimental work in protein structure and function analysis.

  • Applicants should have an academic in life science plus a PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, bioinformatics or a related discipline
  • Several years of experience working with biochemical techniques for analysis of proteins is required
  • Experience in biochemical and structural analyses of protein or ribonucleoprotein complexes would be an advantage
  • Candidates should have a strong publication record
  • The ability to work effectively in a team, possess good communication skills and have prior experience in the supervision of graduate students would be favourable


Located in a region that connects Germany, France and Switzerland, our institute offers an international research environment with outstanding infrastructure facilities and a positive working atmosphere that places a high value on work-life balance.

  • Salary according to your qualification and professional experience according to TVöD
  • Social benefits in line with public service
  • Professional training and development opportunities
  • Challenging work in a modern working environment
  • Family-friendly offers (affiliated day care center at the institute, parent-child room, breastfeeding room, pme family service)

We  value  and  promote  diversity,  inclusion  and equal opportunities, so we welcome applications from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from severely disabled people. We would also like to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented and therefore expressly encourage women to apply.


Have we sparked your interest? Please apply with your complete application documents (letter of motivation, curriculum vitae) including a statement of research interests via our online applicant portal by May 6th, 2022. At the same time, please ask three of your referees to send recommendation letters to

Max Planck Institute for
Immunobiology and Epigenetics
Ms. Schätzle-Ott

Stübeweg 51
79108 Freiburg Germany



Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Job Features

Job CategoryTeaching and scientific research, Postdoctoral

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