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Postdoctoral Researcher (Le Group)

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a structural biologist/biochemist to join a five-year Wellcome Trust-funded project in the Dr Tung 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:

  1. Elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying chromosome organisation and segregation
  2. Unravel the relationship between spatial chromosome organisation (locally and globally) and important biological processes in the cell

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 work will employ an aquatic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus.

The practical end point of the research, besides pure academic interests, 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 develop your skills in:

  • Greater understanding of bacterial chromosome organisation and segregation
  • Manuscript and proposal writing
  • Next-generation sequencing techniques (ChIP-seq, Hi-C) and analysis

The ideal candidate

You will have a PhD or equivalent experience in microbiology or biochemistry.

You will have in-depth knowledge of microbiological/biological techniques and a good understanding of chromosome biology.

Practical experience with gene knockout and plasmid constructions and experience in chemical/small inhibitor screening techniques are also required.

Additional information

Interviews will be held on 6 May 2021.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1004037.

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.

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