Science and projects

What to explore

Metabolism is the foundation of all living organisms. While cells in a population are often phenotypically different, most of our current analytical approaches still probe metabolism only at the population level. Because strong evidence exists that metabolic cell-to-cell heterogeneity has, for instance, disease relevance, within MetaRNA will overcome this severe analytical limitation through exploiting exciting opportunities emerging from the RNA field.

Within MetaRNA, research groups from the RNA field and research groups from the field of metabolism join forces. Together, these partners will develop novel RNA-based sensors for metabolites and use them to investigate metabolism at the single-yeast and cancer cell level, and apply them for novel biotechnological applications, together with the partners from industry.

PhD Projects

Within this network, the following PhD projects are available:

  • Projects with a focus on RNA, aptamers, riboswitches
    Using latest insights and technology from the RNA field, we will develop molecular RNA-based sensors for metabolite. We will exploit computational design, robotics-assisted SELEX, MS-based biophysical aptamer characterization.
  • Projects with a focus on metabolism
    We will exploit the developed molecular sensors to push metabolic research to the single cell level. Fundamental and cancer-relevant questions will be addressed also with approaches from systems biology.
  • Projects with a biotechnological focusWe will harbor the potential of RNA-based sensor for biotechnological application. In collaboration with industry partners, we will open up new avenues for the development and improvement of cell factories.