PhD candidate for the project Enzyme-substrate interactions: Understanding catalysis of glycosidases(1.0 FTE)

Research / Academic


Project description

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 or Biophysics;
  • Affinity with biophysics is required;
  • Experience with NMR on proteins is a plus;
  • Excellent command of English;
  • Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • The PhD research needs to start before December 2018.

Salary Benefits:

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 €2,266 to €2,897 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

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.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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