Research Associate in Protein Design in the Cell

Bristol, United Kingdom
£33,199 - £37,345 per annum
04 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
02 Jul 2019
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Contract Type
Full Time

Division/School School of Chemistry
Contract type Open Ended
Working pattern Full time
Salary £33,199 - £37,345 per annum
Closing date for applications 02-Jul-2019

Research Associate in protein design in the cell
As part of the newly established Max Planck-Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology (MPBC), a post-doctoral position is available to develop de novo protein design in bacterial cells. This post is available for 2 years in the first instance, and it is extendable for up to a further 3 years. The position is associated with the protein design laboratory of Prof Dek Woolfson (Chemistry and Biochemistry). The post holder would work in the newly refurbished laboratory for the MPBC, which is housed in the School of Chemistry and will be shared with other MPBC researchers associated with the laboratories of Profs Imre Berger (Biochemistry; genome engineering) and Steve Mann FRS (Chemistry; protocell research). As with all projects in the MPBC, it is anticipated that the work will develop in collaboration with our Max Planck partners in Germany.

Specifically, the work will be to design de novo protein modules to fold, assemble and operate in E. coli and orthogonally to the endogenous proteomes and interactomes. The project will build on Woolfson’s set of de novo coiled-coil domains (Fletcher, et al. (2012), ACS Synth Biol 1, 240. DOI:10.1021/Sb300028q; Thomas, et al. (2013), J Am Chem Soc 135, 5161. DOI: 10.1021/Ja312310g; and Thomson et al. (2014) Science 346, 485-488 DOI: 10.1126/science.1257452). The aim is to use these and newly designed modules to construct self-assembling objects and materials inside living cells (see Lee et al. (2018) Nat Chem Biol 14, 142-147 (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2535). In turns, these intracellular de novo designed proteins and assemblies will be used to endow bacteria with new functionalities.

The position would be best suited to a talented and ambitious early career researcher with an interest in applying de novo protein design in synthetic and minimal biology. Essential skills for this role would include: experience with the de novo design, synthesis and structural characterisation of synthetic peptides and/or the design, construction and expression of synthetic genes in E. coli; plus the biochemical and biophysical characterisation of proteins in cells such as light and electron microscopy and/or FACS.

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