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Postdoctoral Researcher



Postdoctoral Researcher
Salary: £32,578 - £39,938 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
Contract: 3 years, full-time
Location: John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
Closing date: 9th February 2022
Reference: 1004176

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Webster Group at the John Innes Centre, to study the structure and function of the molecular machines involved in photosynthetic gene expression.

About the John Innes Centre:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial genetics. We nurture a creative, curiosity-led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits.

Our employees enjoy access to state-of-the-art technology and a diverse range of specialist training opportunities, including support for leadership and management. Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

About the Webster Group:

Research in the Webster group focuses on understanding the molecular machines that express photosynthetic genes. We aim to discover what determines the timing and level of photosynthetic proteins production. We use cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine structural models of large and dynamic protein complexes and develop mechanistic models of their activity using biochemical and biophysical techniques. See, for example, Webster et al. 2020, Science 369:1355-59.

The role:

Photosynthesis underpins oxygenation of the atmosphere and supports the global food chain. In plants it occurs within chloroplasts, which contain a genome that encodes core subunits of the photosynthetic complexes. Despite their importance, we lack a detailed understanding of how chloroplast genes are expressed.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will study the structure and biochemical function of the molecular machinery that expresses photosynthetic genes in plants. They will prepare gene expression complexes from chloroplasts and recombinant expression. Atomic models obtained by cryo-EM will be interpreted alongside biochemical and biophysical experiments in answering a key question: what is the biochemical role of each subunit that makes it essential to greening in plants? These discoveries will support the long-term effort to control photosynthetic output and timing for improved crops and biotechnologies. They will also shed new light on the nature of the poorly-understood machinery of plastid gene expression.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates should have a PhD in molecular biology or a similar subject. They should have experience in protein purification, characterisation of purified proteins by biochemical, biophysical or structural techniques, molecular cloning for recombinant expression of proteins, and a basic understanding of the biochemical process of gene expression.

The applicant will be trained in diverse transferrable scientific and personal skills. Scientific skills include DNA manipulation, protein purification techniques, subcellular fractionation, negative stain electron microscopy, cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), biophysical analysis of molecular interactions, biochemical analysis of nucleic acid processing, high-resolution electrophoretic assays, protein identification by peptide mass fingerprinting, bioinformatic analyses and protein structure prediction.

Additional information:

Interviews will be held on 21st February 2022.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our website http://jobs.jic.ac.uk or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or quoting reference 1004176.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. We are proud to hold a prestigious Gold Athena SWAN award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality. We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. The Institute is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

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