Postdoctoral fellow to study the biochemistry of highly conductive proteins

Updated: 2 months ago

Department: Department of Biology
Regime Full-time

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The Centre of Excellence in Microbial Systems Technology within the Faculty of Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%)

Postdoctoral fellow to study the biochemistry of highly conductive proteins (2 years)

The selected candidate will join the Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry research group of Prof. Filip Meysman, who coordinates the Centre of Excellence in Microbial Systems Technology. Our team is at the international forefront of research into microbial electricity, combining state-of-the-art methods in molecular biology, electron microscopy, protein biochemistry and biophysics to explain the unique and enigmatic process of long-range conduction in cable bacteria.

See for more information about our research.

Job description

We have a job opening for a postdoctoral fellow (2 years) to study the highly conductive protein structures in cable bacteria. Recently, we have shown that long, filamentous cable bacteria contain a protein fiber network that allows electron transport over centime scale distances, and which operates comparably to copper wiring used to transport electricity. These highly conductive protein fibers form a unique biological structure and enable a completely new interface between biology and electronics, providing a prospect for new materials and technology. The goal is to characterize these fibers through proteomics, immunolabelling and in vitro synthesis in order to achieve a deeper understanding of this new form of biological electron transport. The project runs in collaboration with Prof. Karolien De Wael (AXES, UAntwerpen) and Prof. H. Remaut (Center for Structural Biology, VIB-VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussels).

  • You are highly motivated to conduct research within an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers, and thus build a professional network and academic career;
  • You will perform fundamental research within the domain of protein biochemistry, applying techniques like protein purification and immunolabeling;
  • You have experience and skills to design and conduct experiments rigorously and independently (qPCR, protein expression and purification, immunolocalization);
  • You will publish your research results in high-level scientific journals and you love to present your results at national and international venues;
  • You will support junior lab members (MSc, PhD), provide training in molecular biology techniques and take part in the supervision of these research projects.

Profile and qualifications

We are looking for a flexible and creative person, who is highly motivated to tackle new and complex biological questions.

  • You hold a doctorate degree (PhD) in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biology, or a related discipline in the Natural Sciences, and have a strong interest in cross-disciplinary research;
  • You have a productive scientific track record including first-author publications in international journals;
  • Candidates who have experience in protein expression and purification, immunolocalization and structural biology of proteins are encouraged to apply. Expertise in mass spectrometric proteome analysis is a bonus;
  • You are creative, possess excellent organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude;
  • You are an excellent team-player, and enthusiastic to learn new technologies and work in an interdisciplinary team of biologists, chemists and physicists;
  • Strong communication skills in English are essential, including the ability to present to both academic and non-academic audiences.

We offer

  • a dynamic, vibrant and stimulating work environment within the Centre of Excellence on Microbial Systems Technology at UAntwerpen;
  • a full-time contract as a postdoctoral researcher for two years (with potential prolongation depending on availability of funds);
  • a gross monthly salary is calculated according to the pay scale for a principal research fellow in the Contract Research Staff category (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • a green working environment at Campus Drie Eiken (UAntwerpen). Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .
  • the possibility to develop your professional and soft skills in our large international network;

 Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 11 July 2021 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on 'apply', complete the online application form and don’t forget to include the following document(s) in English: (1) a motivation letter, (2) your up-to-date academic CV.
  • We will perform a pre-selection on CV and we will invite selected candidates for an interview. The selection committee will review the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. These interviews will take place in early July 2021. The planned start date is 01 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • If you have questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or email . If you have questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. dr. ir. Filip Meysman, .

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity  and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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