Research Associate in Protein Dynamics

    Job reference: BMH-023621
    Salary: UoM Grade 6 £36,024-£38,205, per annum, depending on relevant experience
    Location: Manchester
    Employment type: Fixed Term
    Hours per week: 1 FTE
    Contract duration: Start date Asap for 3 years

    Location - Based at the University of Manchester in the laboratory of Dr Christos Pliotas (, in collaboration with Dr Argyris Politis (Manchester) and Prof Jesko Koehnke (Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany), you will work on an exciting 3-year BBSRC-funded project to study the dynamics of protein complexes that produce ribosomally synthesised natural products, known as RiPPs. RiPPs encompass a plethora of bioactive molecules, including anti-viral and anti-biotic compounds.

    The Project – Ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are an exciting class of natural products that feature many interesting bioactitivties and unique modifications. Data suggests that protein complexes are frequently involved in their biosynthesis (e.g., Nature Chemistry 15:560–568, 2023), but little structural data, especially with an emphasis on structural dynamics, exists for these complexes. You will investigate two RiPP biosynthetic enzyme complexes with a primary focus on the biosynthesis of the pyrroloindoline alkaloid-like RiPPs crocagins by EPR spectroscopy within the new BioEmPiRe centre (, equipped with a new Bruker QBand high power (300W) pulsed spectrometer with integrated cryogen-free cooling system (Cryogenics) and Bruker cw Xband EPR spectrometer operating at different temperatures. Protein complex(es) dynamics reported by EPR (cw and pulsed) will be orthogonally validated by HDX mass spectrometry. The investigation of the conformational landscape of these novel protein complexes will lead to a step-change in our understanding of RiPP biosynthesis and ultimately to the production of high-value chemicals and drugs.

    We are seeking an individual with a strong background in EPR spectroscopy, structural biology or biophysics. You should have a PhD (or be close to completion) in EPR spectroscopy, Structural Biology, Biophysics or a closely allied discipline. Previous experience in structural mass spectrometry or protein biochemistry is highly desirable.

    Funding is available for a fixed period of 3 years. Start date asap.

    The University of Manchester
    The University of Manchester boasts a reputation for world-leading pioneering research and innovation, with 25 Nobel Prize winners and more than 20 research centres of excellence. As of 2023, The University of Manchester ranked as the 28th best university in the world in QS world university rankings. Manchester is a boasting and multicultural city with many award-winning museums and world famous football clubs, voted the UK’s best city to live in for nine consecutive years.

    The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

    What you will get in return:
    • Fantastic market leading Pension scheme.
    • Excellent employee health and wellbeing services including an Employee Assistance Programme.
    • Exceptional starting annual leave entitlement, plus bank holidays.
    • Additional paid closure over the Christmas period.
    • Local and national discounts at a range of major retailers.

    As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

    Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

    Hybrid working arrangements may be considered.

    Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

    Any recruitment enquiries from recruitment agencies should be directed to [email protected]. Any CV’s submitted by a recruitment agency will be considered a gift.

    Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
    Name: Dr Christos Pilotas
    Email: [email protected]
    Pliotas Group Research Website:

    General enquiries:
    Email: [email protected]

    Technical support:

    This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the 5 March 2024.

    Please see the link for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.

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