View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Structural Studies - Dr Lori Passmore - LMB 1997

Open Date
15/11/2022, 09:30
Close Date
13/12/2022, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

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

MRC - 4
Cambridge
£35,143 per annum
Fixed Term
Science
Full Time
3 years

Overall purpose: 

We are recruiting for two roles to work within the group of Dr Lori Passmore at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at understanding the mechanisms of mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation.

Role 1 - Specifically, to undertake research to investigate the sequence specificity of the mRNA 3’-end processing machinery. This project will build on our recent in vitro reconstitution of the yeast and human complexes (Hill et al 2019; Boreikaite et al 2022) to characterize preferred cleavage and binding sites on RNA. It will involve the use of in vitro protein biochemistry and high throughput sequencing methodologies.

Role 2 - Specifically, to undertake research to investigate the structure of the mRNA 3’-end processing machinery. This project will build on our recent in vitro reconstitution of the yeast and human complexes (Hill et al 2019; Boreikaite et al 2022) to purify, trap and determine the structure of functional CPF/CPSF complexes. It will involve the use of protein expression and purification, cryoEM and other structural methods.


Main duties:

•    To undertake research aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of the eukaryotic mRNA 3’-processing machinery.
•    To identify, develop and apply a broad range of 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.

Key responsibilities:

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 a three year lifespan. 

To plan your own work and objectives and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.

To identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.

To work as a member of a team and to interact with other group/LMB members in collaborative projects.

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. 

Working relationships: 

You will report to Dr Passmore 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.

Additional information:

These are 3-year training and development positions for Postdoctoral Scientists who have recently completed their doctoral studies, are moving into a new research discipline or have 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.

Academic qualifications: 

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.

Role 1 - Particularly useful would be experience of some of the following: RNA biology, transcriptomics, high-throughput sequencing including library preparation and data analysis, in vitro reconstitution, protein purification.

Role 2 - Particularly important are experience of using x-ray crystallography or cryoEM to determine protein structures; methods to measure protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions; baculovirus techniques to express multi-protein complexes; protein purification; cell culture.

Track record of research:

This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers.

Other relevant evidence of: 

•    Commitment.
•    Originality.
•    Ability to communicate.
•    Working with others.

Additional information: 

The ideal candidate will have experience of working collaboratively and training others. A strong background in RNA biology is essential.

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.