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PhD Candidate, Enzyme-substrate interactions: Understanding catalysis of glycosidases

GH11 glycosidases are important enzymes in nature and for biotechnology. The aim of the project is to develop an approach to establish the conformation of …

4 maanden geleden


J.H. Oortweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


GH11 glycosidases are important enzymes in nature and for biotechnology. The aim of the project is to develop an approach to establish the conformation of covalent substrate intermediates in an active site and link it to the dynamics of these enzymes. Substrate analogues enriched with stable isotopes will be synthesized to enable the observation of substrate nuclei in the background of the enzyme, using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and extract the conformation of the covalently bound sugar. NMR will also be used to study the effects of the adduct on enzyme dynamics with a combination of relaxation methods and paramagnetic NMR tools. The project will result in a general approach to study ligand conformations inside enzymes and yield a mechanistic description of catalysis of the GH11 family enzymes.


  • Master’s degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics or equivalent;
  • Good to excellent proficiency in English;
  • Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Experience with protein biophysics is a plus;
  • Experience with NMR on proteins is a plus;
  • The PhD research needs to start before December 2018.


We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from €2,222 to €2,840 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

Enquiries regarding the research can be made to Professor Marcellus Ubbink, email m.ubbink@chem.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact the secretary Mrs. Ingrid Bekooy, email bekooy_i@lic.leidenuniv.nl, telephone +31 71 527 4434.

To apply for this vacancy, please send no later than 20 June 2018 an email to the secretary of the Macromolecular Biochemistry group Mrs. Ingrid Bekooy at bekooy_i@lic.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you join to your application the vacancy number and the following additional documents:

  • A letter of motivation;
  • An updated CV;
  • The letters of recommendation by 1 or 2 former supervisors;
  • A list of courses and grades of your Bachelor and Master education.