Postdoctoral Researcher (Le Group)

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a microbiologist/biochemist/cell biologist to join a Wellcome Trust-funded project in the Le Group, working on understanding bacterial chromosome organisation and segregation.

The chromosomes of all living organisms must be compacted nearly three orders of magnitude to fit within cells.

Moreover, DNA must be packaged in a way that is compatible with a myriad of DNA-based processes, including replication, segregation, transcription, repair, and recombination. This challenge is particularly acute in bacteria as chromosome segregation occurs concomitantly with DNA replication rather than being separated temporally, as in eukaryotes.

How chromosome organisation and its integration with biological processes are achieved in vivo remains poorly understood. To fill this knowledge gap, the Le Group aims to:

  • Explain the molecular mechanisms underlying chromosome organisation and segregation
  • Unravel the relationship between spatial chromosome organisation (locally and globally) and important biological processes in the cell

The role

The aim of this project is to understand how various nucleoid-associated proteins (ParB-ParA), structure maintenance of the chromosome (SMC) protein and DNA topoisomerases integrate their actions to spatially organise a bacterial chromosome both at the local and global levels.

Furthermore, this project will uncover the relationship between chromosome organisation and the regulation of gene expression and chromosome segregation.

The practical end point of the research is to identify new target for anti-bacterial therapies and to possibly prevent/reduce plasmid-borne antibiotic resistance.

In this role, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Shape your own project/ideas
  • Gain a greater understanding of bacterial chromosome organisation and segregation
  • Engage in manuscript and proposal writing
  • Use next-generation sequencing techniques (ChIP-seq, Hi-C) and analysis

The ideal candidate

The ideal candidate will have a PhD or equivalent experience in microbiology or biochemistry. You will have expertise in microbiological/biological techniques, a good understanding of chromosome biology and a proven ability to carry out innovative research with important, publishable outcomes.

You will have practical experience with gene knockout, plasmid constructions and Streptomyces genetics.

Good basic mathematical, statistical, bioinformatic and computing skills are essential, as well as a proven ability to grasp and apply new skills and concepts. You will also be able to demonstrate intellectual independence, rigor and creativity. Experience of high level of organisation and high-quality record keeping are also essential for this role.

Practical experience in protein purification, enzymology, X-ray crystallography and/or related structural biology techniques would be advantageous but not essential.

Additional information

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1004052

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity.  As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. We are proud to hold a prestigious Gold Athena SWAN award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality.

We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. The Institute is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Apply for this role

More Vacancies

  • Crop Genetics

    Harvesting and Processing Assistant

    An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Harvesting and Processing Assistant to join the Germplasm Resources Unit regeneration programme at the John Innes Centre, working on cutting-edge science in the field of Crop Genetics.

    Find out more