Research Fellow, School of Materials Science and Engineering

7 days left

09 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
09 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

School of Materials Science and Engineering  is looking for a candidate to join them as a Research Fellow.

The overarching objective of this project is to develop an in depth understanding of the enzymatic activity of proteases reconstituted in the membrane of lipids and biomimetic polymer capsules and to use such constructs to identify potential peptide hits for future diagnostic applications. In the area of diagnostics, we foresee applications for remote detection of pathogens in water and food.

The work to be undertaken focuses on a class of membrane bound proteases belonging to the Omptin family. In particular proteases like OmpT and PtgE present in the outer membrane of E.Coli and Salmonella. The work will be undertaken in close collaboration with scientists from UC Davis and Northwestern University in the US.

The Research Fellow should work jointly with scientists from the above universities to develop peptide libraries to probe activity of the reconstituted proteases using Self-Assembled Monolayers for matrix-assisted laser Desorption/Ionization – Mass Spectrometry (SAMDI-MS) and biophysical methodologies. The hits from these libraries and proteomics screening approaches will be used develop assays and novel sensor concepts for detection of bacteria.

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Design and carry out high quality scientific experiments required to achieve project goals. This will include:
    • Production, purification, and characterization of relevant omptin proteases in various membrane environments (detergents, lipids, and polymer capsules)
    • Advanced analysis of substrate preferences and enzymatic activities of the proteases and their degradation products, primarily using optical spectroscopy and advanced biophysical techniques
    • Design and optimise short peptide libraries to identify top peptide hits for target omptin protease
    • Advanced analysis and characterization of reporter polymer/oligomers for optical detection of protease activity primarily using optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis, fluorescence, Circular Dichroism, etc), and DLS
  • Keep records of work, analyze data, and assist in the preparation of manuscripts for publications
  • Present scientific data at scientific conferences, at lab/group meetings, and to collaborators
  • Interact efficiently with project members and other team members working on similar topics
  • Assist in training students and other part-time hourly personnel in experimental techniques and the proper use of equipment in the laboratory through various laboratory related activities
  • Keep the workplace and laboratory organized in a clean and safe manner in accordance with established procedures and university policies
  • Maintain lab instruments in operational condition and adhere to proper procedures for the management and disposal of hazardous waste. Expected outcome is a proper adherance to all health and safety inspection protocols and regulations


  • PhD in protein/enzyme engineering, materials science, bioanalytics or chemistry
  • Preferably have a solid background in bioanalytics, protein engineering, enzymology, and/or peptide library design
  • Take part in the development of reporter polymers/oligomers for optical detection of protease activity
  • Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary environment involving physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers and materials scientists

We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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