PhD position

Unraveling the structural transitions of chemically modified DNA and RNA molecules

Project description

The postreplicative and posttranscriptional chemical modifications of nucleic acids regulate the intricate interactions of biomolecules in a complex cell environment. Understanding the role of these modifications is of tremendous interest for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The goal of the PhD project will be to obtain atomic level information about how DNA and RNA modifications influence the structure, dynamics and interactions of the oligonucleotides using integrative structural biology approaches, including high-resolution solution and solid-state NMR spectroscopic techniques. The non-canonical base-pairing introduces substantial motional flexibility to the structure which has a fundamental role in defining its interactions with the nucleic-acid-binding proteins. Therefore, the central part of the project will focus on unraveling the mechanistic and structural basis of conformational fluctuations that occur on the microsecond to millisecond timescales.

Our research group has dedicated access to state-of-the-art, high-field solution and solid-state NMR spectrometers from 400 to 800 MHz. In addition, the Department provides an excellent cross-disciplinary environment with modern research facilities to carry out collaborative research.


We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a background in solution-state NMR spectroscopy. The ideal candidate will already have experience in NMR spectrum assignment. Previous experience in structure calculations, relaxation rate measurements and computer modelling would be advantageous but not a must. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and fluency in spoken and written English are required.

Application details

Starting date for the position is flexible. Interested candidates should send their CV, motivation letter including at least two contacts as references together with the copies of all university degrees to Petra Rovó at