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Job id: 066205. Salary: £41,386 - £48,414 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 20 April 2023. Closing date: 01 June 2023.

Business unit: Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sci. Department: Chemistry.

Contact details: Prof Paula Booth.

Location: Guy's Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

A post-doctoral position is available to work in the group of Prof Paula Booth. The research will focus on the folding and biogenesis of integral membrane proteins. This is part of a long-term multi-disciplinary project investigating the co-translational folding of membrane proteins using innovative approaches across biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology and chemistry.

The post-holder will work within a vibrant research laboratory and will be able to direct their work and collaborate with other lab members and external research groups. They will also be able to develop new approaches to investigate membrane protein folding. The successful candidate will work in Prof Booth’s laboratories at King’s College London and the Frances Crick Institute. They will also be able to participate in exciting new research initiatives as part of King’s new interdisciplinary research centre for the Physical Science of Life.

Applicants should have a PhD in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Chemistry or a related field, and experience with membrane proteins, folding kinetics, Infra-Red spectroscopy, computational methods, molecular biology, unnatural amino acids, cell-free approaches or membrane protein biogenesis and insertion would be an advantage.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract with funding available until 31/12/2026 in the first instance

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Undertaking state-of-the-art biophysical folding studies on helical membrane proteins. This involves membrane protein expression (mainly in bacterial systems, but also yeast),cell-free expression, molecular biology, purification, refolding and reconstitution, using fluorescence, circular dichroism, calorimetry, binding assays and other spectroscopic measurements.
  • Investigations involving, and development of, rare codon, unnatural amino acid, fluorescence labelling and FRET methods, as well as time-resolved approaches.
  • Advancing and developing in vitro and cellular systems and co-translational folding. This part of the project involves cell free systems, cellular studies, preparation of cell extracts, Western Blot and antibody experiments as well as radiolabelling measurements. Methods to initiate and monitor co-translational folding on the ribosome.
  • Preparation of membrane fragments and cellular components including translocon apparatus and reconstitution of functional systems.
  • Working with novel artificial membrane systems will be used to investigate the control exerted by lipid forces on membrane proteins and exploit this in the construction of synthetic modules.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.       Hold a PhD in Biophysics, Biochemistry or related disciplines.  

2.       Research experience, laboratory skills & ability to use/manage lab instrumentation.   

3.       Ability to assist with undergraduate and postgraduate student supervision in the lab 

4.       Experience in project design & scientific presentations 

5.       Ability to write scientific reports/ articles, prepare figures and manage submission to journals 

6.       Ability to work as part of a team and in a shared laboratory environment 

7.       Strong track record in the biophysics field according to experience 

Desirable criteria

1.       Experience with cell free protein expression,  cell extract systems or co-translational protein folding  

2.       Experience with molecular biology and folding of membrane proteins.  

3.       Experience with rare codons, codon usage and unnatural amino acid incorporation into proteins 

4.       Experience with some of: membrane proteins, protein folding, optical methods, kinetics, biophysical approaches, fluorescence, FRET, Infra-Red  

5.       Experience with data analysis, programming.