Post-Doctoral Researcher in Structural Biology

Birkbeck, University of London - Biological Sciences

Purpose and Main Duties
We are seeking an enthusiastic, driven and ambitious Post-Doctoral Researcher (Level 2) to perform a biophysical and structural analysis of the molecular interactions underpinning recruitment of the SWI/SNF family of chromatin remodelling complexes to target-genes.

The study will employ an integrative structural biology approach combining biophysical analysis with cutting-edge mass spectrometry, cryo-electron microscopy and computational modelling. The project is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and will be performed within the research team led by Dr Philip Robinson.

Candidate Requirements
The SWI/SNF family of large multi-subunit chromatin remodelling complexes are an important class of eukaryotic transcriptional regulators that couple ATP hydrolysis with altered DNA-histone interactions to mobilise nucleosomes at target-gene loci. Recently, mutations affecting subunits in human SWI/SNF (BAF) were found to occur in over 20% of all human cancers, highlighting BAF’s role as an important global tumour suppressor.

The mechanistic basis of these disease phenotypes remains poorly understood although perturbed genomic recruitment is an emerging theme. The goal of this project is to apply a state-of-the-art integrative structural approach to investigate SWI/SNF recruitment to target-gene promoters. Biophysical analyses will be used to determine the molecular determinants of SWI/SNF recruitment and the structural basis of these interactions will be visualised directly using cryo-electron microscopy.

This project will also be performed in close collaboration with the groups of Professor Alma Burlingame (University of California San Francisco, and Dr Riccardo Pellarin (Institut Pasteur, and will therefore include components of cutting-edge mass spectrometry and computational modelling.

Applicants should have a PhD in structural biology, biophysics or a related area, and have relevant research publications. Practical skills in protein expression, purification and biochemical characterization are essential. Experience in cryo-EM and/or X-ray crystallography is highly desirable. Experience in the biophysical characterization of protein-protein/protein-DNA interactions is also desirable but not essential.

About the Department
For further information about The Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, please visit the following website: and Biological Sciences:

Further Information

Salary: Grade 7 of the College's London Pay Scale which is £37,169 rising to £42,483 per annum.

This post is full time, 35 hours per week (1.0 FTE) and fixed term upto 5 years. The salary quoted above is on the College's London Pay Scale and includes a consolidated Weighting/Allowance which applies only to staff whose normal contractual place of work is in the Greater London area. The initial salary will be dependent on the skills and experience of the successful applicant. The appointment is subject to a probationary period of 12 months. Birkbeck also provides a generous defined benefit pension scheme, 31 days paid leave, flexible working arrangements and other great benefits.

The closing date for completed applications is midnight on 30 March 2018.

A preliminary telephone/VC interview will likely be held in the week beginning 16 April 2018 with onsite interviews to be held in the week beginning 30 April 2018.

For further information on this opportunity contact Dr Philip Robinson,

Birkbeck welcomes applicants from all sections of the community. The College is committed to improving the gender and cultural diversity of its workforce, holding an Athena SWAN award and membership of WISE, operating the Disability Confident and Mindful Employer schemes, is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and is working towards the Race Equality Charter Mark.

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