The project aim is to investigate the static and dynamic properties of model globular proteins in aqueous solutions. The interactions and complex phase behaviour of the protein solutions such as the re-entrant condensation, liquid-liquid phase separation and protein crystallization will be investigated using neutron spectroscopy as well as both x-ray and neutron small-angle scattering techniques. The experimental work will be completed by dynamic light scattering and other techniques. The fundamental understanding of these phenomena using methods established in soft matter research has implications and applications in biology (e.g. regarding physiological function) and medicine (e.g. regarding pathological pathways). The PhD student will study both dynamic properties, i.e. protein diffusion and internal dynamics, as well as static properties such as the size and shape of proteins. These properties will be explored as a function the parameters protein concentration, ionic strength and valency of salts added to the solution, and temperature.
-Candidates with a diploma/master degree in physics, chemistry or a related field are encouraged to send to us their applications including preferably contact details of one reference for a letter of recommendation. -A background in scattering techniques as well as profound knowledge in programming for data treatment using for instance MATLAB and MATHEMATICA will be considered an important asset. -Along with the experimental skills, a strong interest in the mathematical methods underlying the data analysis will be required.