Postdoctoral fellowship in single-molecule nucleic acid biophysics

Chalmers University of Technology


December 31, 2021


Information about the project and the research groups This postdoc position is a collaboration between the groups of Professor Fredrik Westerlund and Professor Marcus Wilhelmsson.

The postdoctoral fellow will investigate DNA and RNA using single-molecule biophysical techniques and in particular an optical tweezers setup specifically designed to stretch short DNA/RNA molecules. More specifically the fellow will utilize base-modified nucleic acids to increase the understanding regarding the intramolecular forces of nucleic acids (pi- stacking, hydrogen bonding, hydrophobicity). Secondary structures of DNA and RNA (B- and A-form duplexes) to the more complex tertiary structures of RNA will be investigated. Moreover, interactions between nucleic acids and proteins, in particular proteins involved in DNA repair, will be monitored using the same mini-tweezer setup. Complementary single molecule and bulk techniques will also be used.

Two recent papers are: https: // https: // www.

The Westerlund group at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Division of Chemical Biology at Chalmers uses nanofluidic devices to study biomolecules in general and DNA in particular. The group's projects range from fundamental biophysics of DNA-protein interactions to analysis of clinical DNA, for example diagnostics of antibiotic resistance. For more information see homepage of the Westerlund group and recent publications listed there:

The specific goals of the Wilhelmsson research group are to develop novel probe molecules for DNA/RNA systems, new improved fluorescence methods for biochemical investigations and use fluorescent probes and techniques to study DNA/RNA-protein/ligand interactions both structurally and dynamically. The research is partly performed in close collaboration with pharmaceutical industry (AstraZeneca). For more information see homepage of the Wilhelmsson group and recent publications listed there:

Major responsibilities The postdoctoral fellow is expected to provide state-of-the-art knowledge in the single-molecule nucleic acid biophysics research area and to take a lead at the division in the utilization and methodology development of the nucleic acid mini-tweezer equipment.

Qualifications To qualify for the position you must have a PhD degree in a relevant field such as biophysical chemistry or equivalent area. If you have experience in single molecule biophysics focused on nucleic acids, or optical tweezers, this is seen as meritorious. To be successful you also need to be energetic, have a problem-solving attitude and enjoy working both by yourself as well as closely together with others.

Contract terms Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of two years (1+1).

We offer Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg. Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure The application should be marked with Ref 20210552 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including: • CV, include complete list of publications • Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences • Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number) 1-3 pages where you: • Introduce yourself • Describe your previous research fields and main research results • Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents: • Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 31 December, 2021

For questions, please contact: Professor Marcus Wilhelmsson, Dept of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering E-mail:

Professor Fredrik Westerlund, Dept of Biology and Biological Engineering E-mail:

Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position.

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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