Research InstituteMRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyResearch Institute / Unit Information
The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies. The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease. We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.
There are four scientific Divisions – Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology. However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive. Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.
The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers. Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at www.ukri.org
BandMRC – PostDocLocationCambridgeSalary£32,302 – £35,143 per annumContract TypeFixed TermJob TypeScienceFull Time / Part TimeFull TimeContract LengthInitially for 2 yearsJob Description
To work within the group of Dr Ingo Greger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at investigating signalling mechanisms of AMPA glutamate receptor (AMPAR) complexes. Specifically, to investigate gating and modulation of major AMPAR-auxiliary subunit complexes, and their modulation by therapeutic ligands and by lipids, in recombinant settings (Herguedas et al., Science 2019; Dohrke et al., JBC 2020; Zhang et al., Nature 2021; reviewed in Greger et al., Neuron 2017; Greger & Mayer; Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 2019). These observations can also be extended to neuronal synapses (Penn et al., Neuron 2012; Watson et al., Elife 2017; Watson et al., Nature Comms 2021).
The successful candidate will work in collaboration with a Senior Electrophysiologist and with Structural Biologists in the lab. We also collaborate with chemists developing novel AMPAR therapeutics that we seek to characterise functionally. In this project, we will characterise gating and ion permeation properties at high resolution, based on new structural information obtained in the lab (Zhang et al., Nature 2021; and Herguedas et al., in revision). We also aim to insert AMPARs into defined lipid bilayers to test the role of lipids characterised by cryo-EM and by MD simulations (in collab with Dr Peter Tieleman). The successful candidate will have their own electrophysiology rig, and will have access to a 2-photon rig.
• To undertake research aimed at characterising AMPAR signalling and modulation by auxiliary proteins, lipids and drugs.
• To identify, develop and apply a broad range of imaging techniques to pursue the research objectives.
• To present scientific work at seminars within the laboratory and at external meetings.
• To contribute to laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the field.
• To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
• To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
• To assist in the training of PhD students and other members of the LMB.
Within the overall direction of the programme, the group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within an intial 2-year lifespan.
To plan your own work and objectives on a 12-month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.
To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.
To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.
To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.
To contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.
To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.
You will report to Dr Ingo Greger and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support staff and students, not only in your group, but also across the LMB and with external groups as necessary.
This is intially a 2-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:
• MRC training courses.
• External training and personal development courses.
• One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.
You will commit to undertaking the following:
• Developing and following a personal development plan.
• Attending training courses.
• Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.Person Specification
These should include a PhD in a relevant subject or due to complete PhD within 6 months.
Technical skills and expertise:
Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project. Particularly useful would be experience with brain-slice electrophysiology, super-resolution imaging and 2-photon imaging.
Track record of research:
This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers.
Other relevant evidence of:
• Ability to communicate.
• Working with others.Further InformationThis project will suit candidates who wish to further develop a hot research topic in an interdisciplinary environment, and who seek to work independently.The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.
Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As “Disability Confident” employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.
We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.