Research Assistant (Postdoctoral) – Computational Biophysics and Ion Channel Simulations


  • Full-time, Fixed Term position for 12 months
  • Academic Level A + 17% Superannuation
  • Based at the Melbourne CBD campus

About the Role

As Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Computational Biophysics and Ion Channel Simulations, you will be involved in investigating the molecular mechanisms of ion channel function. The aim of this project is to describe ion channel conduction, selectivity and activation mechanisms by employing enhanced-sampling molecular dynamics methods. The expected outcome is an improved description of how these proteins respond to physiological stimuli to control electrical signalling the body. The computational project, in collaboration with leading experimental researchers in cryo EM and electrophysiology, is funded by the Australian Research Council. It will employ cutting-edge computational approaches using supercomputers, alongside functional and structural experiments, to examine ion channel mechanisms, including for sodium and potassium channels and related systems. The work is expected to be high impact, with related ion channel projects recently published in Nature and PNAS, and will provide excellent career possibilities for a talented and driven researcher.

To be successful in this position, you will have:

  • PhD in physics, physical chemistry or a closely related discipline
  • Evidence of research output in computation in biophysics, condensed matter physics or physical chemistry including publications, conference contributions and/or technical reports in the field.
  • Demonstrated high level communication skills and ability to work autonomously whilst displaying a strong commitment to work in a team environment, including the demonstrated ability to confidently and effectively work with colleagues and project team leaders
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and effectively manage varying workloads and respond to changing priorities as required.
  • Experience in atomistic simulations of membrane protein systems and statistical mechanical theory and molecular dynamics simulations for biophysical problems using existing packages. Strong preference will be given to those with experience in NAMD/VMD, CHARMM, and simulations of ion channels.
  • Experience in using enhanced sampling and free energy methods, including Umbrella Sampling and Free Energy Perturbation, with expertise in Replica Exchange, Metadynamics and Drude-polarisable force fields being desirable.
  • Strong skills in supercomputing using both CPUs and GPUs, programming/scripting in a Unix environment, MD scripting for advanced simulations and analysis, as well as good visualisation skills.

Please Note: Appointment to this position is subject to passing a Working with Children and National Police Check.About the Group

The School of Science provides more than 45 bachelor and postgraduate programs to 5,000 students and undertakes world-class research across the disciplines of:

  • Biosciences and Food Technology
  • Applied Chemistry and Environmental Science
  • Physics
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Geospatial Sciences
  • Computer Science (information technology and software engineering)

Across the City and Bundoora campuses, the School employs more than 260 academic staff (including 70 research intensive staff), 35 professional staff, as well as 430 casual and sessional staff, and supervises almost 400 Higher Degree by Research candidates.

To Apply

Please submit your CV and covering letter addressing the Key Selection Criteria for this position by clicking on the ‘Apply‘ link at the top of this page. For further information about this position, please click on the Position Description hyperlink below or contact Professor Toby Allen via [email protected] .

Position Description – Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Applications Close:

24 June 2023 11.59 pm

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