Post-doc/Junior researcher in the field of Origin of Life Theory

pátek 29. červen 2018, 12:58

We announce the opening of a new postdoc/junior researcher position for scientists experienced in the field of material/organic/analytical chemistry with focus on a highly interdisciplinary research related to organic chemistry.

The research program:

We are opening a new position in the topic of the experimental reconstruction of the abiogenesis of RNA. Special attention will be focused on the following topics: (i) the complete experimental reconstruction of a continuous, formamide-based pathway to the origin of life, (ii) non-templated synthesis of the first RNAs from cyclic nucleotides, (iii) origin of the catalytic activity of RNA, and the role of mineral catalysis in the above mentioned processes. The position is suitable for postdocs who are interested in combining synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and material science with the aim to reconstruct abiogenesis under laboratory conditions.  Basic laboratory skills are required and expertise in standard analytical methods used in organic chemistry is welcome. Experimental work will concentrate on sample preparation and characterization with modern analytical chemistry methods. The applicant will become part of a young, focused, and motivated international team with excellent equipment (see

Applicant responsibilities:

  • Operation of a uniquely designed gas/liquid reactor for catalytic reactions
  • Analysis and interpretation of catalytic processes
  • Optimization of catalytic processes
  • Chemical analysis of the reaction products formed in the gas/liquid reactor
  • Ability to conduct targeted research
  • Ability to comprehend results from characterization techniques used in organic chemistry and material science
  • Manuscript writing

Five Relevant References in the Related Topics:

  • Šponer, J.E.; Šponer, J.; Nováková, O.; Brabec, V.; Šedo, O.; Zdráhal, Z.; Costanzo, G.; Pino, S.; Saladino, R.; Di Mauro, E. Emergence of the first catalytic oligonucleotides in a formamide-based origin scenario. Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 3572-3586.
  • Šponer, J.E.; Šponer, J.; Di Mauro, E. New evolutionary insights into the non-enzymatic origin of RNA oligomers. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA 2017, 8:e1400. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1400.
  • Costanzo, G.; Giorgi, A.; Scipioni, A.; Timperio, A. M.; Mancone, C.; Tripodi, M.; Kapralov, M.; Krasavin, E.; Kruse, H.; Šponer, J., et al. Nonenzymatic oligomerization of 3′,5′‐cyclic CMP induced by proton and UV irradiation hints at a nonfastidious origin of RNA. ChemBioChem 2017, 18, 1535-1543.
  • Šponer, J.E.; Šponer, J.; Giorgi, A.; Di Mauro, E.; Pino, S.; Costanzo, G. Untemplated nonenzymatic polymerization of 3′,5′cGMP: A plausible route to 3′,5′-linked oligonucleotides in primordia. J Phys Chem B 2015, 119, 2979-2989.
  • ‘Early RNA’ reactions characterized, article by James Urquhart in Chemistry World, February 11, 2015,

Formal requirements:

Ph.D. or equivalent in organic chemistry; good publication record in top ranked journals, excellent oral and written English; experience in organic/analytical chemistry/heterogeneous catalysis.
Submit an application including a curriculum vitae and a list of publications to: Letters of recommendation shall be sent directly to the same email addresses. Clearly indicate the position, which you apply for.

The applications are considered till July 15th 2018.

Screening of applicants will resume immediately. Selected applicants will be invited for an oral/Skype interview, typically within 2/3 weeks upon application submission. We apologize but due to the number of applications the scientific committee screens we are not able to respond to all applicants who did not qualify for the oral interview. Thank you for your understanding.