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Research Associate - Biochemistry & Structural Biology

Imperial College London - Institute of Clinical Sciences

Location: London
Salary: £41,593 to £45,234 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st October 2021
Closes: 2nd November 2021
Job Ref: MED02737

Department: Institute of Clinical Sciences

Salary: Between £41,593 – 45,234 per annum

Location: Hammersmith Campus

Contract: Full time & Fixed Term for 3 years

Job Summary

Two positions have become available in the laboratory of Professor Speck at Imperial College London ( to investigate mechanisms of human DNA replication and their misregulation in cancer employing biochemical & structural or genomic approaches.

The two research associates will collaborate extensively as part of the overall project and work together with 3 PhD students investigating related, but not overlapping questions.

The current group consists of 11 researchers, including 6 postdocs, 4 students and one technician. The successful candidates will enjoy intensive interactions with group members specialised in cryo-EM, biochemistry, high resolution genomic (ChIP-Exo) and proteomic (ChIP-MS) approaches generating a collaborative and highly productive atmosphere. We are excellent equipped for biochemistry (2 AKTA’s, 4 temperature-controlled shakers, 2 freezer mills, Constant System French Press, Biacore T100), structural EM work (cryo-EM facility with Talos 200kV FEG cryo-EM Falcon 3, Vitrobot IV, Leica GP2, GPU- and data storage-cluster and direct access to a Titan Krios with K3 detector as founding member of the LonCEN consortium) and genomics/proteomics (direct access to excellent local sequencing, genomics and proteomics facilities and bioinformatics team).

By joining the group, the candidates will not only participate in high profile research projects but will also be directly mentored by Professor Speck in grant writing, networking and publishing. Indeed, the scientific framework and the support by Prof. Speck means that the candidates are well placed for a successful transition into independence.

Duties and responsibilities:


Biochemistry and structural biology have the potential to reveal highly complex molecular mechanisms. In particular in vitro reconstitution and cryo-electron microscopy are ideally suited to investigate the structure, function and regulation of large protein assemblies. The successful applicants will work on a cutting-edge project focussed on DNA replication. We aim to discover how DNA replication origins are specified (position 1) and how DNA replication is regulated (position 2) to support genome stability and achieve faithful DNA replication. Expertise in protein purification, biochemical assays and/or cryo-EM analysis of protein complexes is essential.  

Essential and desired requirements

  • Research Associate: Hold a PhD (or equivalent) in Biochemistry, Structural Biology, or a closely related discipline
  • Research Assistant: Near completion of a PhD (or equivalent) in Biochemistry, Structural Biology, or a closely related discipline
  • At least one first-author publication in a high-quality peer-reviewed journal (published or submitted)

Position 1 (stronger focus on biochemistry):

  • Strong expertise in molecular biology
  • Strong expertise in protein biochemistry (protein expression purification of multi-subunit complexes)
  • Strong expertise in biochemical assays

Position 2 (stronger focus cryo-EM)

  • Strong expertise in cryo-EM sample preparation and cryo-EM operation
  • Strong expertise in cryo-EM data processing and structure building (Coot)

Further Information

The 2 positions are Full Time & Fixed Term posts being offered for 36 months based at the Hammersmith Campus, London.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Christian Speck –

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