Offer 29 out of 39 from 29/04/24, 12:52


Freie Uni­ver­si­tät Ber­lin - Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie - Institut für Chemie und Biochemie

A PhD student position is available in the Freund group at FU Berlin (https://www.bcp.fu- for 4 years in the project “The role of the palmitoylation switch in activated T cells”. Lipid-modification of proteins with palmitate is catalyzed by cellular palmitoyl transferases. These so-called DHHC enzymes steer the transport, membrane compartmentation and function of hundreds of proteins and are involved in the immune cell function of T cells. Furthermore, many potentially zoonotic viruses require palmitoylation by DHHC enzymes for infectivity. We have previously profiled the T cell palmitome and unraveled the role of individual palmitoylation events for T cell function ( In addition, affinity purification-mass spectrometry was used to define the interaction between DHHC20 and T cell proteins. Subsequently direct binding between DHHC20 and a trimeric G protein was shown to mediated by the beta-gamma subunit of the latter ( Currently we are investigating the DHHC/target interplay in the context of T cell signaling and viral interference, with the goal to mechanistically understand and functionally inhibit critical palmitoylation events. Structural biology methods are readily available to the group and comprise NMR, X-Ray, EM and MS. A highly collaborative working environment allows to adapt the requirement for individual methods to the needs of the project.

Research assistant (Praedoc) (m/f/d)

with 70%part-time job
limited for up to 4 years
salary grade (Entgeltgruppe) 13 TV-L FU
reference code: Freund Palmitoylation TRR186

Working field:

The major goal of the thesis is to mechanistically understand how substrate proteins are recognized by individual DHHC enzymes. Mechanistic findings will then be interrogated functionally in T cells in collaboration with the laboratory of Britta Brügger of Heidelberg University ( The activity serves to improve one's own academic qualifications. Participation in research and teaching are expected.


Completed university degree (Master) in biochemistry, biology or related areas.

Candidates are expected to have a good understanding and an experimental background in protein biochemistry and/or structural biology. Previous experience in the field of expression of recombinant proteins using bacterial, insect cell and/or mammalian cell expression systems is advantageous. Since the project is part of a large and active trans regional consortium ( ), the successful candidate will be part of a research endeavor that has the overarching goal to unravel the molecular switches that govern cellular behavior. Annual PhD retreats between Heidelberg and Berlin students of the consortium guarantee the candidate to be part of a scientific community that addresses seminal aspects of modern biology. Applications should comprise study records, the name of two reviewers for letters of recommendation, a motivation letter, and a CV, stating the reference: Freund Palmitoylation TRR186 and are to be sent to: and

How to apply:

Applications should be sent by e-mail, together with significant documents, indicating the reference code, in PDF format (preferably as one document) no later than July 8th, 2024 to Prof. Dr. Christian Freund: or postal to

Freie Universität Berlin
Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie
Institut für Chemie und Biochemie
Mr. Prof. Dr. Christian Freund
Thielallee 63
14195 Berlin (Dahlem)

With an electronic application, you acknowledge that FU Berlin saves and processes your data. FU Berlin cannot guarantee the security of your personal data if you send your application over an unencrypted connection.

Freie Universität Berlin is an equal opportunity employer.