Masters Student needed in researching electric fields in DNA

Masters Student needed in researching electric fields in DNA

Desoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is a complex biomolecule that serves as long-term information storage in all living organisms. The remarkable longevity of DNA stems from the chemical stability of the individual nucleosides, but also from many interactions between sequential nucleosides as well as larger structures that pack and protect this sequence. Although these large-scale effects have been observed, the affects they have on the stability of DNA is not well understood, particularly in terms of the electric forces that hold the extended structure together, which act over scales of approximately 1-100 nanometers. Our lab at Keemilise ja Bioloogilise Füüsika Instituut, headed by Prof. Aleksander Rebane, has developed “Molecular Voltmeter” probes1 capable of measuring nanoscale electric fields using the nonlinear optical technique known as two-photon absorption spectroscopy. These probes can be inserted into DNA, and we plan to use them to measure the electric field between nucleosides.

The Masters student will be handling DNA samples, preparing buffer solutions, assisting in the process of intercalating probes, and learning the techniques of two-photon absorption spectroscopy. Along with research tasks which they can use for their Masters thesis, they will have the opportunity to attend international conferences and be involved in publishing results in scientific journals.  Monthly scholarship is provided!

We are looking for someone who:

  • Has worked with DNA in a Lab or other setting
  • Has some knowledge of chemistry
  • Would be interested in high powered lasers
  • Is proficient in English
  • Can give a great high five, because teamwork is key




  1. Rebane, A. et al. Two-Photon Voltmeter for Measuring a Molecular Electric Field. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 7582–7586 (2015).



Stark Charles,

prof. Aleksander Rebane,