Postdoctoral Research Associate

The University of Edinburgh - College of Science and Engineering

School of Biological Sciences

This is an exciting opportunity for a postdoctoral research associate to conduct a research project jointly between the University of Edinburgh and the biotech company, Ingenza, based just outside Edinburgh. Many therapeutic proteins need to be glycosylated - i.e. have chemically defined sugars or “glycans” attached at certain critical positions along the polypeptide backbone - in order to be clinically efficacious. This makes them difficult to produce in the huge quantities required for clinical trials and, ultimately, the pharmaceutical market place. Yeast cells are an attractive potential alternative to the traditional choice of mammalian cell culture for production of glycoproteins in kilogram quantities. Pichia pastoris can be economically grown on simple media to high densities and secretes large quantities of high-quality glycosylated recombinant proteins. However, there is a major challenge to be overcome. The biochemical pathways in P. pastoris responsible for glycosylation must be re-engineered to ensure that therapeutic proteins intended for human use are decorated with human-type (rather than yeast-type) glycans. Advances in understanding of protein glycosylation, coupled with affordable commercial DNA synthesis and developments in DNA assembly technologies, now facilitate a synthetic biology approach to re-purposing P. pastoris as a valuable platform for producing large amounts of humanised glycoproteins.

That is the goal of this project, which is funded for 12 months in the first instance by the iBioIC “Accelerating Impact” programme.

Closing Date: 03 January 2018 at 5pm GMT

For further particulars and to apply for this post please click on the 'apply' button below

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