Jobs in Structural Biology and Related Fields

Biochemistry Research Associate Imperial College London

London, United Kingdom
Application deadline: 26 Mar 2019

Job summary

This is an ideal opportunity for an enthusiastic and creative scientist to join a dynamic research team with excellent collaborators and facilities. The successful applicant will use cutting-edge biochemical approaches to work on a high profile project investigating novel mechanisms in eukaryotic DNA replication with therapeutic potential.  

The project will address: how do key DNA replication factors function and how they are regulated. This type of work is crucial to understand how cancer development is initiated and will serve as a stepping-stone for the future development of replication inhibitors with potential as chemotherapeutic drugs. The successful candidate will take advantage of efficient and well-established reconstituted systems and in vivo approaches  to address how the replicative helicase becomes loaded onto DNA. It is the ideal time point to start with this project, as a recent high resolution structure of the replicative helicase in complex with its loader by the Speck lab has helped the group to formulate a number of new hypotheses.

The main aim of the project is to discover how Cdt1 functions in MCM2-7 ring opening/closing and induction of ATP-hydrolysis, two key events during initiation of DNA replication. The research will involve design of constructs, expression and purification of proteins & protein complexes using bacteria and yeast. The purified factors will be used in established and novel biochemical assays, while structural analysis and analysis of protein dynamics by FRET assays will be carried out in collaboration with other group members and an local collaborator. The applicant will be working as part of a team, and will have ample opportunity to drive the project’s direction in a creative way. 

Duties and responsibilities

The successful candidate will enjoy intensive interactions with group members specialised in cryo-EM, biochemistry or in vivo approaches generating a collaborative and highly productive atmosphere, with opportunities for advanced training. The lab is excellent equipped for biochemistry, structural EM work and has direct access to a staffed local cryo-EM facility and the Titan Krios as founding member of the LonCEN consortium.

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

Essential requirements

The candidate should have a PhD in Biochemistry or neighbouring disciplines, a strong publication record and extensive expertise in protein biochemistry and biochemical assays. Background in the areas of nucleic acid-protein interactions, molecular machines, or the broader area of genome stability would be of advantage, but is not necessary.

Further information, including how to apply, is available on the website. The deadline is 26th March.

The position is available right away and the latest expected start date is middle 2019.

For informal inquiries or questions please contact Professor Christian Speck directly

For technical issues when applying online please email

London, United Kingdom

Biochemistry Research Associate Imperial College London