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Proteomics Mass Spectrometry - Postdoctoral Research Associate

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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 promoting transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development.

We are currently looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our Next Generation Chemistry theme’s proteomics team. One of the major goals of all themes is to improve their technologies by a factor of ten. In the case of this proteomics project, we want to create new approaches to characterise protein post-translational modifications on a proteome-wide scale. We also want to study ion-ion and ion-photon reactions to inform protein chemistry approaches.

The key aspect of this project will be to develop and characterise a versatile new mass spectrometer design. The instrument will be a Thermo Exploris 480 that will be modified to contain an additional unique design of ion trap (the omnitrap) that possesses multiple light-, collision- and electron-based fragmentation approaches. We envisage the discovery of new protein reactions and fragmentation methodology by exploiting this state-of-the-art bespoke gas-phase trap system which will ultimately allow a new phase of proteome characterisation as well as chemical proteomics and discovery of new reactions for synthetic biology.

The successful candidate will create, develop, characterise, and maintain this bespoke mass spectrometer. You will also use this bespoke system and other state-of-the-art mass spectrometers (including a Fusion-Lumos with ETD) for range of PTM characterisation projects. When sufficiently robust, the system will be utilised for a range of biochemical and clinical systems in collaboration with other themes and research groups in the stakeholder universities.

The project is a collaboration with other themes at the Franklin and with industrial (Thermo and Fasmatech) 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 to the Franklin’s Head of Mechanistic Proteomics, and will work alongside other researchers in the Franklin. Please email informal enquiries to Shabaz.Mohammed@chem.ox.ac.uk.

Role overview and responsibilities

We are currently looking for an experienced Proteomics Mass Spectrometry - Postdoctoral Research Associate with excellent skills in the following areas:

• Practical experience with several mass spectrometer types including orbitraps.

• Practical experience with studying fragmentation approaches utilised in the field of proteomics.

• Practical experience with handling and maintaining lasers.

• The ability to carry out analytical procedures that are applied for proteome characterisation to a high degree of precision.

• Able to analyse quantitative proteomic data with a degree of statistical rigour using common freely available software packages.

The main specific responsibilities of this role will include:

• Develop, characterise, and maintain a bespoke orbitrap based mass spectrometer including its lasers.

• Characterise several fragmentation regimes including collision-, electron- and photon- based approaches in the context of proteomics. Create new multi-stage acquisition modes.

• Characterise a range of complex proteomic samples using a range of mass spectrometers and fragmentation regimes.

• Carry out analytical procedures that are applied for proteome characterisation to a high degree of precision including sample preparation.

• Analyse quantitative proteomic data with a degree of statistical rigour using common freely available software packages.

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

• Assist with general laboratory maintenance including the troubleshooting and upkeep of nanoLCs, centrifugal evaporators, liquid handlers, and various MS equipment.

You will also

• Collaborate with appropriate academic and industrial partners.

• Work with other themes and researchers to develop the burgeoning Franklin environment to be as suitable as possible for such work.

• Work together with the surrounding facilities to ensure efficient methods at the Franklin and Harwell environment.

• Publish research articles in leading academic journals.

• Present findings at national and international meetings/conferences.

• Take a formal or informal role (as required) in the supervision of research students, including recruitment, mentorship and career development.

• Raise research funds through grant applications, and manage own area of a larger research budget

• Participate in and support the public engagement and widening access activities of the Franklin

• Any other duties that come up in the normal running of the facility and that can be reasonably requested of the post-holder.

Selection criteria


• A PhD (or close to completion) or equivalent in a relevant field.

• Practical experience with mass spectrometers.

• Practical experience with software packages utilised in mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

• 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 solve problems using innovative and flexible thinking.

• Excellent organisational and communication skills.

• Experience with developing routinely usable methods.

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

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

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

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


• Practical experience with several peptide fragmentation approaches

• Practical experience with (up to) type 4 lasers.

• Practical experience with proteomics sample preparation.

• Experience with biological samples of relevance to such samples, such as cell lines, cell culture, tissue samples and use of organoids.

• Proficiency in handling large datasets including bioinformatics and biostatistics.

• Knowledge of complementary structural and biophysical methods.

• Knowledge of biological chemistry.


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: 1st February 2021 at 9:00am

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