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Cardiologie Erasmus MC

PhD position in biochemistry of DNA mismatch repair: Function of the MutS and MutSalpha state machine.

  • Closing date 09-04-2023
  • 10.27.23.TBW
  • 36 hours
  • Research university
  • Research & Education

Questions? Contact our recruiter

  • Closing date 09-04-2023
  • 10.27.23.TBW

Job description

DNA mismatch repair is important for maintaining genome stability through repair of DNA replication errors. Non-functional mismatch repair results in a mutator phenotype and in humans increases the risk to develop cancer. Mismatch repair involves the coordinated action of multiple proteins, amongst which MutS (in prokaryotes) and MutSα (in eukaryotes) that recognize the replication error. This project will address the structural and functional consequences of ATP hydrolysis by the repair proteins MutS and MutSα for coordinating the timing, location and directionality of the DNA mismatch repair reaction. In your studies you will aim to identify:

  • at which reaction steps ATP hydrolysis by MutS/ MutSα is required,
  • how this controls protein-DNA and protein-protein complex formation, and
  • what is the role of ATPase asymmetry.

You will be trained in protein purification and characterization, protein crosslinking, FRET-based complex formation assays (with University of Giessen) and in vitro DNA repair assays to study the coordinated enzyme activities during DNA mismatch repair.

Work environment

This position is part of the Doctoral Training Network RepState, a highly collaborative consortium consisting of 14 European participants coming from academia, industry and the creative sector. You will be immersed in an international, multidisciplinary training environment in fundamental life sciences and obtain insight into the role of basic chemical and physical principles underlying molecular steps in complex yet integrated molecular processes. As the research relies on cutting-edge technologies, development of new approaches will be an integral part of your project. Training includes one or more rotations within European partner laboratories. Through collaboration with industry, you will learn how technology development drives innovation in research. In addition, you will learn how to disseminate and communicate your project in close collaboration with the creative sector.

For this project you will be employed by Erasmus MC. This is the largest academic hospital in The Netherlands and strives towards a healthy population and excellence in healthcare through research and education. The Department of Molecular Genetics is well known within the field of DNA repair for its competitive international research, which spans the experimental range from animal models to single molecule imaging. Our research group focuses on biochemical and enzymatic approaches to understand the mechanisms of complex genome transactions such as DNA mismatch repair and the regulation of homeologous recombination at the molecular level.

Qualifications and skills

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with a MSc in Biochemistry, Structural Biology or closely related field, good command of English (IELTS grade min. 6.5, or equivalent). We welcome applicants of all nationalities.

There are strict eligibility requirements for the PhD positions in MSCA-DN:

  • Applicants should not have resided or performed their main activity (work, studies, etcetera) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 year period immediately prior to the start date of this position.
  • Applicants for the PhD positions should be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctorate. This 4 year period is measured from the date of obtaining your MSc degree (or equivalent).

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

  • You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.789 ,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.536 ,- in the 4th year (scale OIO).
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and a individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.

Additionally, employment terms for Marie Curie projects apply for the first 3 years of employment.

More information

  • For more information on the RepState training network, see
  • For more information about this position at Erasmus MC, please contact Dr. ir. Joyce Lebbink (

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website. Applications should include:

  • a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the project,
  • resume (CV),
  • contact info for two referees.
  • detailed academic transcripts.

Application deadline is April 9th 2023. Note that multiple positions are open within this project, and applications to multiple projects are welcome. Details on other project vacancies are available on

For the purposes of confirming eligibility, all applications will be shared with the RepState management team.

No agencies please.

Application proces

Step 1 - Apply

Did we get you excited about this position? Submit your application through the application button. You will receive a confirmation of receipt from our recruiter right away.

Step 2 - Selection

Based on your application, we check to see if there is a fit between us. We will let you know as soon as possible whether you are invited for an interview.

Step 3 - Job interview

You have been invited for an interview, great! In this first meeting we get to know each other and see if You can form an idea of the position, the department and Erasmus MC. If the interview goes well usually a second interview follows.

Step 4 - Offer and terms of employment

It’s a match! Your future manager will discuss your salary and employment with you. You will also receive more information about our other terms of employment.

Step 5 - Getting started

Your first working day has come! We are more than happy to have you. Your new department will give you a warm welcome and provide you with all the information you need. Enjoy your job at Erasmus MC!

Contact me

Jerry Chandansingh

Jerry Chandansingh
Erasmus MC

Pioneering, pushing boundaries and leading: in healthcare, education and research

Erasmus MC is an international leading academic hospital in Rotterdam. We are recognized as a world-class scientific research organization aiming to improve our understanding of diseases and disorders and helps to predict, treat and prevent them. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques. A working environment that gets the best out of people.

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Apply for PhD position in biochemistry of DNA mismatch repair: Function of the MutS and MutSalpha state machine