Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Positions available to study the functional relevance of protein phosphorylation

Photo by leg0fenris. Disclaimer: this photo should
not be taken as implicit support for the actions of the empire
In the past few years, thanks to advances in mass-spectrometry, tens to hundreds of thousands of phosphorylation sites have been discovered across different species. However, even for very well studied model organisms like yeast we known the function of only a very small number of these. Along with other groups, we have shown that these modifications can diverge quickly (Landry, Beltrao, Tan) leading to the hypothesis that some of these phosphorylation sites might even serve no purpose in extant species. Given these evolutionary observations and the large number of sites that are now routinely identified per study how do we go about identifying which ones are indeed functionally relevant ? In what environmental contexts ? How many might be "non-functional" ?  If these questions sound interesting then we have two posts (postdoc and technician) currently open to develop genetic approaches that we think are going to be important to answer these questions. The work will be conducted at the EMBL Genome Biology unit in Heidelberg (Germany) in collaboration with the Typas lab.

Answering these questions will take a combination of different approaches ranging from proteomics to genetics and bioinformatics. These positions, although focused on the genetics aspects, will offer the possibility to explore and learn from the other expertise. The deadline for application is the 17th of May. Additionally information about our group can also be seen at the EBI webpage and we welcome informal questions about the project and positions by email.