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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Synthetic Biologics and Cell-Surface Chemical ‘Editing’



FRANKLIN Theme(s): Next Generation Chemistry
Project Novo Nordisk
Location: Oxford and Harwell
Hours full/part: Full time
Contract type perm/FTC duration: 2 years’ fixed term contract
Reporting to: Prof Ben Davis
Vacancy reference: 10126

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.
Within the Next Generation Chemistry theme, one of the aims is to realise the full potential of synthetic methods applied in biological systems as possible therapeutics. Within this theme, you will develop hypothesis-focused systems that will explore the potential of synthetic biomolecules in potentially therapeutic or diagnostic scenarios. In particular, we will explore novel methods for editing the biomolecules found on the surface of cells.
The project is a collaboration with Novo Nordisk and other themes at the Franklin as well as other potential industrial and academic collaborators and experts in the UK and beyond. The post, which is for 2 years in the first instance, reports to the Franklin’s Theme Lead for Chemistry, and will work alongside other researchers in the Franklin and at partner university institutes including at the University of Oxford (where the group is jointly based).

Responsibilities
You will:
• Embrace the primary project of the role, namely developing various synthetic protein and sugar systems based on natural scaffolds and testing their capabilities in putative therapeutic and diagnostic (including cellular and in vivo) scenarios.
• Collaborate with industrial and academic partners (especially on cellular application).
• Collaborate with other researchers on design hypotheses
• Work with other themes and researchers to develop the burgeoning Franklin environment to be as suitable as possible for such work.
• Develop the scientific scope of the project, formulate relevant research questions, conduct individual research, analysing detailed and complex qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts
• Work together with the surrounding facilities to ensure efficient protein production and chemistry 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
Essential
• A post-graduate qualification, or equivalent experience, in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Biology, Biology, Biomolecular Science, or related subjects.
• Experience in protein expression, manipulation, characterisation and analysis.
• Experience in complex oligosaccharides, including synthesis, extraction, modification and characterization.
• A demonstrated aptitude for expression system design and construction.
• Experience with developing routinely usable methods.
• Experience with devising research questions and to develop strategies to address them
• Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
• Strong organisational and communication skills.
• 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

Desirable:
• Expert knowledge of structural and biophysical applications, including MS-based methods
• Expert knowledge of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans.
• Expert knowledge of carbohydrate-processing enzymes.
• Expert knowledge of cell culture, analysis and phenotypic characterization.
• Knowledge of biological chemistry and bioinformatics.
• Experience of therapeutic or diagnostic discovery projects.
• Experience with general biophysical techniques such as SPR, ITC, fluorescence, etc.

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: 17th April 2021 at 09:00am

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy

Area: Scientific
Location: Harwell and Oxford
Type of Post: Full time
Period of appointment: 2 years’ fixed term contract
Salary: £33,000 - £39,000 per annum
Closing Date: 17/04/2021
Ref No: 10126


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