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PhD Position in Computer Vision- Image processing for Cryo - EM

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Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt am Main
Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Structural and Cell Biology
Type of Job Scientist
PhD Position in Computer Vision / Image processing for Cryo-EM
Job Offer from December 30, 2016

The Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt is one of the top places in the world to study structure of membrane proteins. The institute departments combine cryo electron microscopy, X ray crystallography and molecular calculations to gain insights into structure and function of fundamentally important biological processes. The Kudryashev group is associated to the Department of Structural Biology and has access to excellent laboratory facilities, high-performance computing infrastructure (large CPU and GPU-clusters) and high-end electron microscopes (FEI Titan Krios, Polara, F30 and JEOL 3200FSC) equipped with direct electron detectors. Cryo electron microscopy is a quickly developing technology, was selected as a Method of the Year by Nature Methods (www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v13/n1/full/nmeth.3730.html). The Kudryashev group is generously funded by the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Humboldt Foundation.

Our project
A PhD position is available in the group of Dr. Misha Kudryashev at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics (www.biophys.mpg.de/en/kudryashev.html) and the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Science (www.bmls.de) at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The project focuses on a set of challenging problems in registration of noisy three-dimensional data with anisotropic resolution. The data come from cryo electron tomograms and contain important information about structure of biological molecules. During the course of the project the applicant will extend the GPU-based parallel computing approach using the Matlab-based system Dynamo. Further development steps involve software engineering: construction of efficient OOP data structures to support optimization in HPC environments, tuning data storage and accessing systems for management and visualization of large sets of three-dimensional data, and enabling flexible prototyping for fast testing of new algorithmic approaches. At the advanced stages of the project application of modern methods for Computer Vision and Machine Learning will be explored. The developed methods will be used for determination of structure of membrane proteins from the human brain, which are important for neurological disorders. The contract duration is 3 years with an optional extension. The group and the Institute are international and multidisciplinary, working language is English.

The candidate should have a Master/Diploma degree in Physics/Engineering/Mathematics or a related discipline and programming skills with any of C++/Python/Matlab/CUDA. A background in biology is not required.

Our offer
The successful candidate will also take part in a PhD program in structural biology. The Max Planck Society aims at increasing the percentage of women in research positions and strongly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from individuals with disabilities.

Your application
Candidates should send a single pdf-file including a one-page motivation letter, the CV and the names of two principal investigators from whom reference letters can be obtained.

Please send to:


Informal inquiries are welcome.

Application deadline: Feb 10th 2017. Selected candidates will be invited for phone interviews shortly after the application deadline. Starting date is flexible.
Max Planck Institute for Biophysics
Max-von-Laue-Straße 3
60438 Frankfurt am Main

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