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Research Associate

University of Sheffield - Faculty of Science

Location: Sheffield
Salary: £35,333 Grade 7, per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th September 2022
Closes: 26th October 2022
Job Ref: UOS034730
 

Fixed-term (01.01.2023 to 31.12.2025)

The laboratory of Dr Stéphane Mesnage  in the School of Biosciences is looking to appoint a Research Associate to join a BBSRC-funded multidisciplinary research effort to characterise the role of peptidoglycan L,D-transpeptidation in Rhizobium leguminosarum during symbiosis. You will be based in Sheffield but will have to coordinate a research programme in collaboration with the groups of Prof Philip Poole (in Oxford) and Prof Andrew Lovering (in Birmingham).

The fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by legumes has a tremendous economic and environmental impact as it sustains farming and limits the use of artificial fertilisers. This process is carried out by bacterial symbionts (rhizobia) which colonise the roots. These bacteria can penetrate the root tissues, multiply in structures called nodules and differentiate into bacteroids, specialised cells that fix atmospheric nitrogen. Bacteroids provide ammonia to the plant and receive carbon source in return. During their life cycle, Rhizobium leguminosarum bacteria must resist abiotic stress to survive in the soil and then undergo dramatic morphological changes as they differentiate into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids in the plant nodules. Both stages require the maintenance of cell envelope integrity. This project will investigate the contribution of a family of enzymes (called L,D transpeptidases) to the remodelling of the R. leguminosarum bacterial cell envelope, both in the rhizosphere and during the differentiation into bacteroids. We will leverage recent breakthroughs in studying peptidoglycan structure to explore how L,D transpeptidases contribute to the formation of nitrogen-fixing bacteroids during the Rhizobium-legume interaction.

Applicants must hold a PhD in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology or an equivalent subject area along with a proven track record of successful research in molecular microbiology, molecular genetics and/or biochemical approaches. Experience in enzymology or analysis of macromolecular interactions is also essential.

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.

To find out what makes the University of Sheffield a remarkable place to work, watch this short film: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LblLk18zmo, and follow @sheffielduni and @ShefUniJobs on Twitter for more information.

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