Research Associate in Methyl Transferases for the Functional Diversification of Bioactives

University College London - Department of Chemistry

The Research Associate will work with Professor Helen Hailes in the Department of Chemistry and Professor John Ward in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London. This ERAcoBioTech collaborative project with the BioDiMet consortium aims to develop a robust and straightforward biocatalytic methyl transferase toolbox that can be applied to the selective synthesis of novel bioactives or precursors. BioDiMet will use enzyme cascade reactions involving S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM)-dependent methyl transferases combined with a cofactor supply/recycling system in order to selectively methylate target compounds. The methyl transferases will also be combined with other single or multistep enzyme cascades.

The postholder will be required to express enzymes and perform biocatalytic reactions with methyl transferases, norcoclaurine synthases, and other enzymes. They will also synthesise substrates and develop enzyme screens. Chemical products will be purified and characterised and assays will be established for the determination of enzyme regio- and stereoselectivities. Furthermore, they will discover and express new methyl transferases using our metagenomics platform at UCL. The postholder will work in a multi-disciplinary environment so excellent team-working and communication skills will be required.

The appointment is funded by the BBSRC for 36 months initially.

The successful candidate must have a PhD (or be about to be awarded a PhD) in a relevant discipline (Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Biological Chemistry, Biochemistry, or equivalent) and possess experience in several of the following areas: enzyme expression, biocatalysis, enzyme screening and assay development, enzyme discovery, organic synthesis, compound purification and characterisation.

Please note, appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at Research Assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316 - £31,967 per annum, including London Allowance of £3,031 p.a.) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

UCL vacancy reference: 1707854        

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Helen Hailes, h.c.hailes@ucl.ac.uk . Any queries on accessing the online application link can be directed to Judith James, j.k.james@ucl.ac.uk .

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23.59.

Interview Date: TBC

We particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under-represented within UCL at this level.

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