Postdoctoral Researcher: Innovating Protein Interactions for Biology and Medicine (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge

A talented and creative postdoc researcher is sought to work in Mark Howarth’s group ( ) on an EPSRC-funded project. The project relates to the development of novel protein interactions for medical biotechnology and controlling cell behaviour. SpyTag is a genetically-encoded peptide created by the Howarth lab, which forms an irreversible covalent bond to its protein partner SpyCatcher. SpyTag provides a unique resource for molecular assembly and has been applied by hundreds of groups around the world for many areas of basic research and biotech. SpyTag has entered clinical trials for vaccines and is in development for CAR-T cell therapy of cancer.

This project will apply rational design and library-based selections to create new SpyTag-based technologies, enabling a novel toolbox of protein architectures for synthetic biology and control of cell behaviour. There will then be the opportunity to apply these new generation architectures towards one project of special interest to the appointee. The Howarth group currently works on areas including vaccines for global health (SARS-CoV-2, influenza and emerging viruses), immunology, force-dependent cell signalling (mechanobiology), and therapeutic targeting in the blood and GI tract (through antibodies/gastrobodies). According to the interest of the applicant, it may also be possible to apply X-ray crystallography or cryoEM for insight into the new resources. We will provide training in unfamiliar methods.

Responsibilities will include managing research activities, generating high quality data and developing scientific techniques. You will be expected to contribute intellectually to the direction of the research project. It is expected that you will present your data locally at lab meetings and seminars, and more widely at international scientific conferences. You will be expected to assist in drafting scientific manuscripts and may contribute to day-to-day supervision of Masters or PhD students.

You will hold a PhD, or be near completion of a PhD, in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Chemical Biology or a related area. You will be skilled at presenting your data, verbally and in writing. You should be committed to collaborative and interdisciplinary research and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. Experience with recombinant protein expression and biophysical analysis is essential. Experience in cell biology methods (e.g. flow cytometry, immunoblotting, microscopy) or library-based screening will be advantageous.

Applications are particularly welcome from women, black and minority ethnic candidates.

The salary range if appointed as a Research Associate is Grade 7 £34,308 – £42,155 per annum, and the salary range if appointed as Research Assistant is Grade 5 £27,929 – £32,348 annum with promotion to Research Associate on attainment of PhD.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Prof Mark Howarth [email protected] .

If you have any questions about the application process please contact the HR team at [email protected] .

Please quote reference PL35857 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location