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Chemical Biologist - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Proteomics

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The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a new national Research Centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology. We are currently expanding and looking for a science driven, but community oriented Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our Next Generation Chemistry theme’s proteomics team.

As a PDRA specialising in chemical biology you will be developing approaches for using and exploiting controlled modification of proteins (and other biomolecules) through biochemical and chemical means. You will be creating and exploring these proteins in a range of cellular models and tissue samples (including organoids and ‘serum’). Tools will also be developed for enrichment of sub-populations of cellular proteomes and to probe mechanistic questions. You will be characterising the protein/proteome using classical cell biological tools as well as proteomics. This will be augmented by apply novel methods in chemical biology (including use of unnatural residues) that will allow precise in vitro, in cellulo and in vivo interrogation. You will also help maintain corresponding laboratory environments and aid proteomic (mass spectrometry and separations) method development, sample preparation and skills teaching as part of dedicated teams focused on mechanistic proteomics and chemical biology.

The project is a collaboration with other themes at the Franklin and with potential industrial and academic collaborators, with whom you will work extensively, while liaising with academic experts in the UK and beyond. The post, which is for 3 years in the first instance, reports jointly to the Franklin’s Head of Mechanistic Proteomics and Science Director for Chemistry, and will work alongside other researchers in the Franklin.

You will be primarily based at the Franklin in Harwell with significant time also spent at Oxford University. You may also be required to spend some time at our other partner institutions.

Role overview and responsibilities

We are looking for someone with excellent skills in the following areas:

• Experience with cell culture, protein expression, purification, modification and characterization.

• Experience with classical molecular biology tools for expression and diagnostics.

• Experience with protein chemistry and standard bioanalytical approaches.

• Practical experience with proteomics mass spectrometry

The main specific responsibilities of this role will include

• Devise and synthesise reagents for modifying and/or enriching proteins

• Construct and express proteins often with unnatural amino acids.

• Culture and maintain a range of cell types.

• Help to devise then create proteomic methodologies to address specific biological questions.

• Carry out collaborative projects with colleagues and other research groups.

• Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on scientific protocols and experimental techniques.

• Contribute to the public engagement in science programme of the Franklin.

Selection criteria


• Hold a PhD/DPhil, or be near completion (i.e. submitted) a PhD/DPhil, in an appropriate field such as Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Biology, Biology, Biomolecular Science, or related subjects.

• A demonstrated aptitude for synthetic chemical methodology, including that applied to biological and/or biomolecule systems.

• Considerable experience with molecular and cell biology methods.

• Experience with chemical biology approaches.

• Experience in protein expression, manipulation, characterisation, and analysis.

• A demonstrated aptitude for manipulating, purifying and characterizing biological and/or related molecules

• A demonstrated aptitude for testing and exploiting the function of such biological molecules

• Experience with devising research questions and to develop strategies to address them

• A responsible nature with a methodical and careful approach when working in the laboratory.

• Experience with project management and demonstrated ability to deliver agreed milestones in a timely manner, adapt to changing priorities.

• Ability to co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines.

• Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.

• Ability to discuss and coordinate experiments with a variety of colleagues from different disciplines.

• Ability to solve problems using innovative and flexible thinking.

• Excellent organisational and communication skills.

• Ability to travel occasionally for training or dissemination of your work.


• Practical experience with proteomics mass spectrometry.

• Practical experience with culture of organoids.

• Practical experience with tissue samples.

• Practical experience with in vivo methods.

• Proficiency in handling large proteomic datasets.

In return we offer:

• 25 days holidays

• Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)

• Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels

• Bus pass discount scheme

• Access to employee discount platform

• Subsidised canteen

• Free on-site parking

• Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Closing date: 16th October 2020; 9:00am

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy

Area Scientific

Location Harwell and Oxford

Type of Post Full Time

Period of appointment 3 years' fixed term contract (with potential to be extended)

Salary £33,000 - £39,000 per annum

Closing Date 16/10/2020

Ref No 10079


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