The PERICO research programme aims to uncover how a central metabolic organelle, the peroxisome, participates in controlling cellular metabolism. Metabolism and metabolic control are emerging as important frontiers in physiology. This is because, in our rapidly changing world, we face the effects of both metabolic extremes – from obesity on the one hand to malnutrition on the other. Learning how to control energy metabolism is therefore one of the most pressing challenges of the 21stcentury.

Peroxisomes are key metabolic organelles, which must communicate and interact extensively with their environment to exchange metabolites and coordinate cellular responses. Membrane contact sites (MCS), where membranes of two organelles are physically tethered to enable rapid transfer of small molecules, enable organelle communication and are crucial for coordination of cellular functions and hence human health. Research on organelle interactions and communication is a challenging, upcoming field in current cell biology.

PERICO will exploit recent developments in high-throughput and genome-wide screening technologies, combine these with modern molecular cell biology and systems biology and ultimately translate the data into new leads for drug discovery and therapy.

Early Stage Researchers

The training schemes include specific research projects, secondments to partner organizations, a wide range of dedicated courses, and workshops organized by the academic and industrial partners of the Network. The scientific training programme will be complemented with training in managerial soft skills.

The positions for Early Stage Researchers are available for candidates with a research experience ≤ 4 years (counted from the diploma that gives the rights to embark in a doctoral degree).

Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment (short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account).


Candidates should have:

  • exceptional academic performance, including qualifications, prizes
  • subject specific skills and expertise (see project descriptions)
  • communication, presentation skills and team working abilities
  • competence in written and spoken English.

Length of appointment: 3 years
Type of contract: temporary

Starting date: August 1, 2019

More information on the project

Descriptions of the individual PhD project

Reference ESR 9-DE

The research group of Prof. Dr. Bettina Warscheid at the University of Freiburg, Department of Biochemistry & Functional Proteomics, offers a

PhD Position for the Study of peroxisome-centred membrane contact sites and transporters by high-resolution proteomics

The group is located in the Institute of Biology II and part of the Clusters of Excellence BIOSS and CIBSS – Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies – and a leading group in high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. The department provides excellent research conditions with modern cell and molecular biology laboratories and state-of-the-art high-resolution MS instrumentation (Orbitrap technology). See for more information.

Your tasks:

  • design, perform, and evaluate quantitative proteomic studies using high-resolution MS
  • identify and characterize membrane contact sites and novel membrane transporters
  • bioinformatics and statistical analysis of large proteomic datasets
  • interdisciplinary project work with partners in the consortium
  • computation of cellular networks integrating the results obtained in the proteomic studies

Your profile:

  • Master’s degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, or a related Life Science discipline
  • practical experience in proteomics or mass spectrometry is advantageous
  • strong interest in bioinformatic data processing and statistics
  • skills in molecular genetics and programming/scripting languages (e.g. Python, R) are advantageous
  • excellent command of English and ability to work in a team
  • highly self-motivated and enthusiastic for proteomic and biomedical research

We offer:

  • an interdisciplinary and supportive team
  • a lab with excellent infrastructure and latest instrumentation
  • an excellent scientific environment in an international research community
  • participation in education, career development, and training opportunities
  • an attractive salary including a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married) in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers.

The position is available as of now, initially for three years with the potential for extension for one year. Please note that the formalities of Horizon 2020 specify that candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months within the last 3 years.

The University of Freiburg is an equal opportunity employer. Applications of women are encouraged. Handicapped candidates with equivalent qualifications will be given preference. Interested candidates should send an application including CV, study certificates, areas of expertise and interests, list of publications, and the names and addresses of two referees as one single PDF file via email to Prof. Dr. Bettina Warscheid ( or apply via the PerICo website ( The application deadline is July 28, 2019.

Reference: ESR14-UK

A PhD Position is available at the University of Exeter, Department of Biosciences, Exeter, United Kingdom
Project title: The peroxisome-ER membrane contact site (MCS) in humans

  • To identify and characterise interaction partners and regulators of the novel peroxisome-ER MCS mediated by the ACBD4/5-VAPA/B tether in humans (bioinformatics, pull down assays, BioID2, mass spectrometry, molecular cell biology);
  • To develop and establish models and techniques for the analysis of lipid transfer between the ER and peroxisomes;
  • To validate selected candidates (CRISPR, fluorescence and quantitative electron microscopy, cell fractionation) and to reveal their physiological role in health and disease conditions;
  • To examine if mutations in MCS genes can be linked to a collection of fibroblasts obtained from patients with peroxisomal disorders whose genetic bases have not yet been identified.

Location: Exeter, United Kingdom
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. M. Schrader (
Co-supervisors: Dr. M. Danielsen, MS-Omics ApS & Dr. P. Kim, The Hospital for Sick Children
Planned secondments: The Hospital for Sick Children, Academic Medical Centre at the University of Amsterdam, MS-Omics ApS
Required subject specific skills and expertise: a master’s degree in life sciences/biology (molecular cell biology, biochemistry). Experience in mammalian cell culture, fluorescence microscopy and protein biochemistry is advantageous but not mandatory.
Application deadline: 24/07/2019
Starting date:  September 1, 2019

Application form ESR14



680 total views, 1 views today

grant number 812968