ESR1: Engineering multimeric AB5 lectin complexes for membrane fusion

Location: University of Leeds, UK

Supervisor Prof Bruce Turnbull

We have recently developed methods for the site-specific chemical, enzymatic and genetic modification of cholera toxin to make non-toxic delivery vehicles that can carry large cargoes into cells. We have also developed methods which enable the re-engineered proteins to initiate membrane fusion. In this project you will investigate how changes in the structure of the proteins affects and controls vesicle crosslinking and fusion. You will develop new protein tools for crosslinking and fusing together vesicles and cells that are coated in different types of sugars. Through this interdisciplinary project you will develop skills in protein engineering and molecular biology; site-specific chemical modification of proteins; biophysical techniques for measuring the affinity for molecular interactions; fluorescence imaging techniques for studying membrane interactions. Appropriate training will be provided in all areas that are new to the researcher.

Applicants should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have a Diploma and/or a Master Degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a closely related subject.
  • Have less than 4 years research experience at the signature of the contract (measured from the time the Master’s degree has been obtained).
  • Not have a PhD already.
  • Not have resided or carried out main activity in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the last 3 years immediately prior to the reference recruitment date.
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language (spoken and written / proficiency level)
  • Training on required laboratory techniques will be provided through the synBIOcarb network. However, practical experience in protein chemistry would be advantageous.

The ESR will be contractually employed by University of Leeds and will receive a Monthly Living Allowance plus a Mobility Allowance compliant with the applicable EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-ITN general conditions. 

Application procedure:

Candidates for this position (ESR1-MAPCH1107) must complete the online application form. In the supporting statements section, it is important to give specific examples for how you meet each criterion. As part of the online process, you will also need to upload a CV, cover letter and the names and contact details of 2 referees.

Informal inquiries can be made by e-mail to indicating reference ESR1-MAPCH1107 in the subject.

The deadline for application is 07/01/2019

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