Our group “Mesoscopic Physics of Life” is situated at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPIPKS) and the Center for System Biology (CSBD) in Dresden, Germany. We closely collaborate with biologist from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (CBG) in Dresden. This environment offers the opportunity to work at the interface between biology, computational science and theoretical physics.
A strong focus of the “Mesoscopic Physics of Life” group is devoted to the physics of intra-cellular organization. In particular, the aim of the group is to identify and understand the mechanisms underlying the assembly, positioning and aging of organelles. To this end, we use concepts from the fields of phase transitions, hydrodynamics and elasticity theory, but also develop new approaches to describe these systems. A central challenge is to identify the minimal ingredients to understand the physics underlying intra-cellular organization. This includes one fundamental question when physics meets biology: Does the considered living system behave similar to a thermal equilibrium system or are there clear signatures that the system is driven and favors non-equilibrium states? In other words, how much is the intra-cellular organization different to the demixing of a vinaigrette, the hardening of a drying gelatin block or the sedimentation of droplets in the gravitational field?
Feel free to reach out in case you find these questions fascinating and are interested to apply to the group. Successful candidates can get embedded in local but also international collaborations. Candidates are expected to have a strong background in theoretical physics or applied mathematics, in particular in soft matter physics, biophysics or condensed matter physics. Postdocs should hold a PhD in Physics, Biological Physics or Applied Mathematics, or a closely related field and are expected to have a strong track-record of research.
To apply please send an inquiry about the research conducted in the Max Planck group “Mesoscopic Physics of Life” to (weber[at]pks.mpg(dot)de). We can meet via skype or in person (at a conference or in Dresden) and discuss potential research projects. Postdoc applications should be submitted to the visitors program of the MPIPKS. To apply for a PhD position (salaray: 65% TvöD E13), please send me your CV together with two names of scientists from whom you plan to request reference letters. To maximally benefit from the large community of researchers in the Dresden area, I recommend to join my group by applying to the International Max Planck Research School, IMPRS-CellDevoSys, which is part of the Dresden International PhD programe (DIPP).