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PhD position (Molecular Biology): Cellular responses to DNA damage and replication stress

In the field of “Cellular responses to DNA damage and replication stress’’ the research group of Dr Petra Beli offers the following PhD project:

Analyses of the DNA replication stress response using mass spectrometry-based proteomics


The recruitment of DNA repair factors to sites of DNA lesions and replication stress is a dynamic process that is tightly regulated by posttranslational modifications of proteins, in particular phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. The full scope of proteins operating at different types of DNA lesions, in particular sites of replication stress, and the mechanisms that lead to the regulated recruitment of factors to these lesions are not understood. The PhD candidate will employ recently developed proximity tagging approaches based on engineered ascorbate peroxidase (APEX) or biotin ligase (BioID) combined with SILAC-based quantitative mass spectrometry to investigate the recruitment of proteins and the formation of protein complexes at sites of replication stress and replication stress-associated double strand DNA breaks. These studies will be performed after replication stress-induced by endogenous sources such as R-loops and exogenous sources such as chemotherapeutic drug hydroxyurea. Furthermore, wild type cells and cells lacking relevant protein kinases and ubiquitin ligases will be used to examine the impact of phosphorylation and ubiquitylation on protein dynamics on damaged chromatin. Proteomics experiments will be complemented by cell biological methods such as high throughput microscopy, flow cytometry, functional DNA repair assays and next generation sequencing. In addition, the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers in the field having complementary expertise in order to execute parts of the project. This projects aims to obtain a first systematic view of protein components and mechanisms that operate in the replication stress response and thus confer essential roles in genome stability maintenance.

We offer

  • The possibility to work on a cutting-edge project using state-of-the-art technology in a highly motivated research team
  • A stimulating, diverse and international research environment
  • Advanced training opportunities in scientific, technical and transferrable skills
  • Fully funded positions

Required qualifications

  • Master or Diploma
  • Motivation to solve complex scientific problems
  • Good communication skills in English

Further requirement:

  • Two letters of reference

Starting date: 1 October 2018 or later
Duration of stipend/salary: 3 years, with the possibility of extension
Deadline for registration (exclusively online via web form): 15 May 2018

For further questions and contact information, please check our website:

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