NATS-161-22 - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Chemical Biology

University of Kent

United Kingdom

September 30, 2022


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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Chemical Biology Chemistry and Forensic Science Location: Canterbury

Salary: £36,386 to £40,931 Grade: Grade 7 Post Type: Full Time Contract Type: Fixed Term - 18 Months Release Date: Wednesday 31 August 2022 Closing Date: 23.59 hours BST on Friday 30 September 2022 (unless otherwise stated) Interview Date: Monday 24 October 2022 Reference: NATS-161-22

Applications are invited for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) post shared across the School of Chemistry and Forensic Science and the School of Biosciences in the Division of Natural Sciences at the University of Kent. This is an 18-month post to work on a chemical biology project jointly supervised by Dr Christopher Serpell (Physical Sciences) and Dr Wei-Feng Xue (Biosciences). The researcher will work on a project entitled “Targeting the infectious potential of prions with DNA nanotechnology”.

The work will involve bioconjugation of synthetic oligonucleotides and nucleobase mimics to amyloid proteins which the PDRA will have expressed and purified themselves. The PDRA will then study the effects of DNA interactions upon the self-assembly of amyloid proteins, and then investigate how the DNA interface alters the ability of the nanostructures to act as prions and induce a phenotypic change in yeast.

The post is EPSRC funded and is fixed-term for 18 months. Any extension is subject to further funding being secured. The Associate must be able to fulfil roles outlined in the grant.

As Postdoctoral Research Associate you will:

  • Carry out research at an internationally competitive level.
  • Deliver the research objectives of the EPSRC grant entitled “Targeting the infectious potential of prions with DNA nanotechnology”.
  • Disseminate results to the scientific community via publications in high quality journals and presentations at international conferences.
  • Communicate the project to the public.
  • To be successful in this role you will have/be:

  • PhD degree awarded/to be awarded in a relevant area of chemistry, biochemistry, or equivalent level of experience and expertise.
  • Practical experience in synthetic chemistry
  • Experience in summarising and presenting results
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to communicate technical information
  • Chemistry work will be supervised by Dr Serpell and undertaken in his laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Forensic Science. Biology and biochemistry work will be supervised by Dr Xue and undertaken in his laboratory in the School of Biosciences. The laboratories are in adjoining buildings and Dr Serpell and Dr Xue have a longstanding collaborative partnership.

    The School of Biosciences is a vibrant, stimulating, welcoming and extremely active environment for research and education within the Division of Natural Sciences. The School of Biosciences scored 100% in the Research Excellence Framework of 2021, putting their research in the 'world leading' and 'internationally excellent' categories.

    With state-of-the-art facilities The School of Chemistry and Forensic Science is a dynamic department, achieving national and international recognition for both teaching and research in Chemistry and Forensic Science. The REF 2021 results for Chemistry show a clear upward trajectory demonstrating the excellent research being undertaken by our colleagues.

    The University of Kent is a distinctive and attractive place to work. We employ around 6,000 staff, including academic and research staff and a full range of support and administration staff. Our stunning main campus in Canterbury, Kent was founded in 1965 and is set among green and tranquil open space overlooking the spectacular Cathedral. Our staff enjoy competitive salaries, an occupational pension scheme, generous holiday entitlements and a great working environment.

    Please see the links below to view the full job description and to apply for this post. If you require further information regarding the application process, please contact the Human Resources team on: quoting ref number: NATS-161-22.

    Further details: Job Description Additional Information

    Apply Online

    Please note that we prioritise applications from current University of Kent redeployees. We will let you know if this post is to be filled by a redeployee as, in this instance, your application will unfortunately not be taken forward.

    Applications must be made via the University's online application system; CVs or details sent directly to the department or via email cannot be considered.

    The University of Kent values diversity and promotes equality at all levels.


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    About the employer

    The University of Kent (formerly referred to as the University of Kent at Canterbury) is a well-known semi-collegiate public research university which is based in Kent in the United Kingdom. It was established in the year 1965 and is recognized...