The compaction and folding of our two-meter-long genome into a confined micron-sized nuclear volume creates numerous challenges to a cell. Chromatin loops are formed by an ATP-driven process—named loop extrusion—that progressively enlarges the loops by the motor action of SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) complexes including condensin and cohesin.
In this project we will undertake coarse-grained computer simulations of these processes to elucidate and potentially guide corresponding experiments at the MPI for Biophysics in Frankfurt. Particularly, we will study the role of topological effects such as supercoiling or knotting on loop extrusion. This PhD project will take place in the group of Dr. Peter Virnau at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, and is embedded in the collaborative research center 1551. Applications should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.