Characterization of the DNA unwinding complex formation during mismatch repair

Recruitment for this position has closed.

PhD project: DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is a multi-protein and multi-step, carefully coordinated cellular process required for correction of DNA replication errors and maintenance of genome stability. Loss of functional MMR results in a mutator phenotype and in humans predisposes to cancer.tekst

In this project you will determine the composition and function of the MMR complex that is responsible for unwinding the DNA after recognition of a replication error, a step that is required to allow removal and repair of the error. You will using single molecule imaging (scanning force microscopy combined with TIRF) and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)assays. You will localize and identify proteins in the recruitment complex on DNA and investigate whether these proteins distort DNA to enhance helicase recruitment.

You will work with industrial partners to improve single molecule imaging technology, and use this technology, combined with chemical cross linking, to identify the composition of the helicase recruitment complex and the active helicase unwinding complex on relevant DNA substrates. You will furthermore be trained in protein purification and characterization and in vitro DNA repair assays.

This project will be hosted at Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), with long and short training visits to other consortium partners.

Qualifications and skills

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with a MSc (or equivalent degree that qualifies you for a PhD program) in Biochemistry, Structural Biology or closely related field, good command of English (IELTS grade min. 6.5, or equivalent). We welcome applicants of all nationalities. Being able to present a certificate of good conduct is a condition for the appointment.

Terms of employment

You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2244,- in the 1st year and increases to € 2874,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC). Additionally, employment terms for Marie Curie projects ( apply for the first three years of employment.

Contact information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr.Ir. Joyce Lebbink (

Eligibility criteria and instructions on how to apply are listed on our vacancies page.
Application deadline for this position is April 3rd, 2017.