Structural Biologist

University of Cambridge - Department of Biochemistry

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral structural biologist to join the Laboratory of Professor Sir Tom Blundell at the University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry, Central Cambridge. The successful candidate will work on a project, funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as a First UK CF Innovation Hub based in Cambridge, to develop new candidate drugs and understand the development of antimicrobial resistance in Mycobacterium abscessus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is a collaborative grant led by clinician Professor Andres Floto of the Clinical School, and involving Professor Chris Abell in Department of Chemistry, university of Cambridge, and Dr Julian Parkhill at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus.

Mycobacterium abscessus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause devastating lung infections in cystic fibrosis individuals. This can be impossible to treat, often prevents safe transplantation, and leads to accelerated lung damage and death. The successful applicant will be involved in a project of structure-guided fragment-based drug discovery programme, collaboratively with the labs of Professor Abell in Chemistry and Professor Floto in the Clinical School Cambridge.

The post-holder will participate in the identification of targets using modern computational protein-structure and systems analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to identify critical genes responsible for survival and infection - these genes will then become targets for our fragment-based drug discovery campaigns, in which the successful applicant will participate.

The Blundell group uses structure-guided fragment-based technologies already demonstrated in Astex Pharmaceuticals, a company co-founded by Tom Blundell, to be able develop candidate drugs in clinical trials in oncology and to get FDA approval for breast cancer. The Blundell group has also worked using these techniques in academia against mycobacterial targets including tuberculosis, abscessus and leprae. The post-holder will use molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics techniques including surface plasmon resonance, ligand-based NMR, isothermal calorimetry, and X-ray analysis, as well as computational analysis of druggability to carry forward similar programmes against targets in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The successful candidate must have or be about to complete a PhD in structural biology with skills in preparative biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysical techniques and X-ray analysis. Knowledge of software in structural bioinformatics as well as experience of design of specific inhibitors of bacterial systems are desirable.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Adriana Dote (

Please quote reference PH14067 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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South East England