Master Thesis Project in Biochemistry

We are looking for a Master’s student who would like to write his or her thesis in our group.

Our research interests

The Zerial group investigates endocytosis – from its molecular mechanisms to implications in cell and tissue organization. Interests range from the assembly and functional characterization of the endosomal fusion machinery to the establishment of hepatocyte cell polarity and liver tissue structure and function. The group uses a unique interdisciplinary approach combining biochemical and biophysical methods with advanced light microscopy, cell biology and computer-aided three-dimensional tissue reconstruction. The team is highly interdisciplinary, international, and collaborative and consists of more than 20 researchers from more than ten different countries. English is our working language.

Research project

This line of research in the group focuses on understanding at the early endosome and how the Rab5 GTPase, together with its effectors, regulates endocytosis. In your project, you will purify and investigate proteins that work together in endosomal fusion reactions. You will look at their contribution to tethering and fusion of endocytic vesicles by an in vitro reconstitution approach.

What you will learn

  • Purification of recombinant proteins expressed in E. coli and insect cells
  • Lipid handling techniques (liposome and supported lipid bilayers preparation)
  • Confocal Microscopy, TIRF, FRAP
  • Bioanalytical techniques to check the quality of reconstituted membranes and proteins (Circular Dichroism, Mass Photometry, Dynamic Light Scattering)


  • You need to be enrolled in a Master´s program at your university before and during the entirety of your stay
  • Please note that this is an unpaid internship focused on developing your laboratory skills

Monitoring Plan

  • Direct supervision from biochemist Postdoc and Ph.D. student
  • Weekly discussion with Biochemistry team


We are offering this position in full time for about 6 months. The position is available immediately. Please submit your CV via email to Dr. Lisa Johnsen johnsen(at) For further information, please contact Dr. Lisa Johnsen via email or phone +49 351 210 2136.

The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.

PhD Student Positions

If you are interested to conduct your doctoral studies in our group, please apply to the International Max Planck Research School for Cell, Developmental and Systems Biology (IMPRS-CellDevoSys). You can find details regarding the admission procedure and deadlines on their webpage.

Postdoctoral Positions

We support fellowship applications of outstanding postdoctoral researchers who wish to join our lab, particularly third party funding organizations (EC, HSFP, Humboldt foundation, DAAD, etc.). We especially encourage international researchers to get in touch.

ELBE-Program Postdoctoral Candidates

Postdoctoral candidates with a strong background in computational biology or theoretical physics and interest to work in the interdisciplinary environment between MPI-CBG/ CSBD and MPI-PKS are welcome to apply to the ELBE Postdoc program.

We want you!

No open project that spikes your interest? Make a suggestion. If your research interests align with ours, we want to hear your research proposal!

Contact us