Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biosciences
Applications are invited for a Research Associate to work on a BBSRC-funded project:
"Sphingolipid biosynthesis in the parasitic apicomplexan protozoa: divergent enzymes in key host: pathogen interactions”.
Our previous work has demonstrated that host sphingolipid biosynthesis plays only a minor role in the proliferation of the model apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (Pratt et al., Mol. Biochem. Parasitol., 2013). This indicated that the de novo protozoan sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway is crucial for parasitism, and recently we have demonstrated that this has an unusual evolutionary origin (Mina et al., J. Biol. Chem., 2017). Working as part of an established team focused on the functional and biophysical studies of the enzymes involved in pathogen lipid biosynthesis, the appointed researcher will utilise the in-house availability of genetically modified Toxoplasma to characterise the role of protozoan sphingolipid biosynthesis in parasite proliferation. In addition, they will continue the establishment of platforms to facilitate the further biochemical and biophysical analyses of the target enzymes in vitro. Together, the results and tools generated will establish the pathway as a tractable potential drug target for further exploration in a range of apicomplexan pathogens of importance to human and animal health and food security.
The successful candidate will be working with Dr Paul Denny (PI) and Dr Ehmke Pohl (CoI) at Durham University.
This post is fixed term for until 30 June 2019, funded by a BBSRC for this period only but with the possibility of extension dependant on the success of a submitted grant application.
The post-holder is employed to work on a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.
Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by October 1st.