Academic

Postdoctoral Scientist - Molecular Biology: UK

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies. The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease. We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions – Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology. However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive. Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers. Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.

Job Description
Overall purpose:

  • To work within the Group of Dr Mariann Bienz at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at the molecular mechanisms underlying Wnt signalling. Specifically to undertake research to investigate the molecular function of Wnt components switching between different signalling branches.
  • The project will be focussed on Dishevelled-interacting proteins, and will involve a broad range of approaches including protein purification, biophysical techniques, mammalian cell-based assays and confocal microscopy.

Main duties:

• To undertake research aimed at the molecular mechanisms underlying Wnt signalling.
• To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.
• To present scientific work at seminars within the Laboratory and at external meetings.
• To contribute to Laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the field.
• To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
• To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
• To assist in the training of PhD Students and other members of the LMB.

Key responsibilities:

Within the overall direction of the programme, the Group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within a three year lifespan.

  • To plan your own work and objectives on a 12 month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.
  • To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.
  • To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.
  • To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.
  • To contribute to the smooth running of the Group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.
  • To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.

Working relationships:

You will report to Dr Mariann Bienz (Group Leader) and Dr Melissa Gammons (Investigator Scientist) and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support Staff and Students, not only in your Group, but also across the LMB and with external Groups as necessary.

Additional information:

This is a three-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:
• MRC training courses.
• External training and personal development courses.
• One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.

You will commit to undertaking the following:
• Developing and following a personal development plan.
• Attending training courses.
• Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post. All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC.

Person Specification
Academic qualifications:

  • These should include a PhD in a relevant subject.

Technical skills and expertise:

  • Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project. Particularly useful would be experience of protein purification, biophysical techniques, mammalian cell-based assays and optical microscopy. Previous experience in Wnt signalling would be an advantage.

Track record of research:

  • This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers.

Other relevant evidence of:

• Commitment.
• Originality.
• Ability to communicate.
• Working with others.

Further details
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