Postdoctoral Research Associate to study the mechanism of viral egress in bacteria: UK

The Living Systems Institute (LSI) is a major new initiative by the University of Exeter (ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world), designed to promote interdisciplinary research that transcends the boundaries of mathematics, engineering, and the biological, medical, and physical sciences. Its mission is to analyse living cells and organisms as integrated systems, with the aim of unravelling how diseases disrupt biological processes at the molecular, cellular, and organismal level.

The post

We seek to recruit a new full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate to study the mechanism of viral egress in bacteria. This 3 year position is available immediately and will be based in the laboratory of Dr Vicki Gold.

You will employ wet-lab based work with state-of-the-art electron cryo-microscopy, tomography, and image processing to study the infection cycle of a filamentous bacteriophage, which has important implications for drug development and synthetic biology. Our institute is equipped with brand new state-of-the-art sample preparation laboratories, an automation and cryo-capable screening microscope, and a brand new computer cluster for processing with 3D visualisation workstations. You will also have regular access to our shared GW4-supported 200 kV Talos Arctica with a K2 direct electron detector, and to 300kV Titan Krios microscopes at eBic.

The post will include:

  • Bacterial cell culture and protein purification
  • Viral infection of bacterial cells
  • Sample preparation for electron microscopy (negative stain and cryo)
  • High-resolution data collection
  • Image processing and structural determination

You are required to be motivated and demonstrate good knowledge of the topic; possess excellent problem solving, interpersonal, and communication skills; and a collaborative spirit, combined with an ability to think carefully about your research. Experience of electron cryo-microscopy and image processing would be a strong advantage, but is not absolutely essential for the right candidate.

In addition, you will:


  • possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion) in structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry, or a related field;
  • be experienced in protein purification, or in electron cryo-microscopy/tomography;
  • possess a keen interest and desire to learn/advance skills in new techniques;
  • have a publication record commensurate with experience;
  • possess good time management skills and the ability to prioritise and work independently;
  • be willing to travel occasionally and have flexible working practice.


  • demonstrable experience in protein purification of membrane proteins;
  • expertise in electron microscopy or tomography (to include sample preparation, high-resolution data collection, and image processing). Prior knowledge and experience of other structural biology techniques such as protein crystallography would be an alternative skill set;
  • knowledge of scientific computing including Unix shell scripting, Matlab, and Python programming languages.

For further information please contact Dr Vicki Gold, e-mail or telephone (01392) 727454.

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