Research Associate

University of Sheffield - Faculty of Science - Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Contract Type: Fixed-term for 5 months
Location: Firth Court, Main Campus

Summary:

Applications are invited for a Research Associate to work in the group of Dr Matthew Johnson in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Sheffield. The department was ranked 1st in biomedical sciences and =5th in biological sciences in the U.K. in the last national census (REF2014). The Human Frontiers Science Programme funded post aims to understand the regulation of photosynthetic light harvesting, in particular the role played by conformation changes in light harvesting complexes in the control of the photophysical processes within. In a natural habitat plants encounter changeable light conditions due to variations in weather and shading by other plants. To work on cloudy days or in shade plants have evolved a highly-sophisticated light harvesting antenna system to capture and concentrate enough solar energy for photosynthesis. But on sunny days, plants absorb more solar energy than they need for photosynthesis. This can damage plants and reduce crop yields, so plants have evolved ways to defend themselves from excess light. However, to date we do not fully understand how the fast photochemical reactions inside light harvesting complexes that quench the excess energy are controlled at the molecular level by the plant and how they are precisely tuned to the prevailing light conditions.

You will biochemically purify light harvesting complexes and regulatory proteins and incorporate them into natural thylakoid lipid membrane vesicles. You will then structurally characterize these assemblies by AFM and EM to ensure proper orientation and assess their function using fluorescence lifetime microscopy (FLIM). You will also make collaborative visits to MIT and Japan as part of the project.

You will have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in a relevant biological science e.g. Biochemistry or have equivalent experience. You will hold general biochemistry skills, including preparation of membranes by sucrose gradients, FPLC and experience of atomic force microscopy and/ or electron microscopy applied to biological material.

We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development.

We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.

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Northern England