Postdoctoral Researcher

    • Application Deadline
      11 October 2023
      (application date has expired)
    • Job Salary
      £35,300 to £37,800 per annum, depending on qualifications and experience.
    • Website

    Postdoctoral Researcher
    Salary: £35,300 - £37,800 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
    Contract: Five years, full-time
    Location: John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
    Closing date: 11 October 2023
    Reference: 1004537

    Applications are invited for a five-year Postdoctoral Scientist position in the group of Professor Anne Osbourn OBE FRS NAS at the John Innes Centre with expertise in natural product chemistry. This post is part of a large eight-year project funded by a Wellcome Trust Discovery Award. The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary team working on harnessing plant metabolic diversity for human health. Further details about the Osbourn laboratory can be found at: Professor Anne Osbourn | John Innes Centre (

    About the John Innes Centre:

    The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial sciences. We nurture a creative, curiosity-led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits. Our strategic vision, Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet, sets out our ambitious long-term goals for the game changing impact of our science globally.

    Our employees enjoy access to state-of-the-art technology and a diverse range of specialist training opportunities, including support for leadership and management.

    The role:

    The Postdoctoral Researcher appointed to this position will be based in the Department of Biochemistry and Metabolism at the John Innes Centre in the laboratory of Professor Anne Osbourn and will join a multidisciplinary team working on plant natural products - biosynthesis, function, mechanisms of metabolic diversification, and engineering designer molecules for medicinal and agricultural applications.

    The post will involve analysis, purification and structural characterisation of medicinally important triterpenoids and steroids generated using synthetic biology-based approaches [see, for example, Reed et al. (2017) A translational synthetic biology platform for rapid access to gram-scale quantities of novel drug-like molecules. Met. Eng. 42: 185; also Reed et al. (2023). Elucidation of the pathway for biosynthesis of saponin adjuvants from the soapbark tree. Science 379:1252]. It will also entail in silico interrogation of chemical databases to investigate triterpenoid and steroid chemical diversity.

    The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary lab of biologists, chemists and computational scientists that operates across the disciplinary boundaries. The candidate will be encouraged to innovate and develop their own research areas within the overall remit of the Wellcome Discovery Award. They will also have the opportunity to interact with spin-out companies on the Norwich Research Park, including a new spin-out from the Osbourn lab, to gain insights into life in the commercial biotech sector.

    The ideal candidate:

    The John Innes Centre is a world class institute and is looking to appoint an exceptional candidate with a PhD or equivalent in chemistry, biochemistry, or a related discipline. The successful applicant will have excellent natural products chemistry skills, including in extraction, analysis, purification and structural determination. Experience of GC-MS, LC-MS and NMR are essential. Experience of working with triterpenoids or steroids would be advantageous but is not essential.

    Additional information:

    Interviews will take place in late October/November 2023.

    For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our website or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450814 or [email protected] quoting reference 1004537.

    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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