Study opportunities

Magnus Kjærgaard's lab

Lab background:

The post-synaptic density (PSD) located below the membrane on the receiving end of synapses. Proteins in the PSD are crucial to synaptic plasticity as they receive the signals and convert them into intra-cellular changes. Therefore the number and properties of receptors in the PSD are directly in learning and memory. We are particularly interested in the family of ionotropic glutamate receptors, which are the main neurotransmitter receptor in excitatory synapses. We would like to understand how their properties are regulated by synaptic stimulation, and what drives newly synthesized proteins into specific synapses.

Our research on glutamate receptors suggest that the organization of signalling molecules is crucial for the accuracy of signalling pathways. Therefore we have also started exploring how kinase signalling pathways are affected by scaffolding proteins using a number of model systems. We would like to develop models for signalling based on fundamental physical and chemical principles. In the long-term we would like to design new types of pharmaceutical intervention strategies based on the nanoscale organization of macromolecules.

Available projects:

Phosphorylation-specific protein-protein interactions in post-synaptic density.

Understanding protein interactions in the post synaptic density through liquid-liquid phase separation.

The effect of nanoscale organization of signalling enzymes.

Single-molecule FRET studies of P-type ATPases.

Methods:

As a general principle, I believe that the research strategy should be determined by the question and not by the methods available. Therefore, we use a wide range of methods primarily centered on quantitative biochemistry and biophysics. We have a special strength in methods for characterizing intrinsically disordered proteins and protein dynamics including NMR spectroscopy and single-molecule FRET techniques.

The successful applicant is:

Ambitious and fun!

Please contact Team Leader Magnus Kjærgaard directly, if interested.