PhD position on DNA artificial cells

Location: Walther Lab, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany

Artificial cells are an approach to making minimalistic synthetic life-like systems on the one hand to understand how life works and on the other hand to generate interactive systems. In recent years, the Walther Lab has developed a versatile platform to make entirely DNA-based artificial cells that exploit synthetic DNA both for structure formation as well as as an information carrier. These DNA-based artificial cells are unique in the sense that they are composed of a highly crowded interior (like cells) composed of long ssDNA that is stabilized by a DNA hydrogel shell. The different parts (interior and shell) can be easily functionalized by complementary ssDNA sequences to tailor properties and encode functions.

The project aims at understanding fusion processes, how catalytic activity (a metabolism) leads to emergent dynamic behavior in the interior (e.g. flow), and how information-processing can be encoded using chemical cascades.

The deadline for applications is 15 April 2024.

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