Postdoctoral researcher (2 years) within biochemistry and molecular biology

Updated: 26 minutes ago

The Department of Chemistry invites applicants for a postdoctoral employment (2 years) within biochemistry and molecular biology.  The employment is full-time with access 1 August 2024 or by agreement. Application deadline is 14 June 2024.

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Recent breakthroughs at Umeå University include deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system and its repurposing into a tool for genome editing, a method developed at Umeå university that was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The host lab is located within the cross-disciplinary Chemical Biological Centre  (https://www.umu.se/en/kbc ) at Umeå University and are affiliated with national Centre of Excellence – Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR) (https://www.umu.se/en/ucmr/ ). The labs are fully equipped for biological and chemical research with access to excellent facilities and state-of-art equipment and platforms in a creative, inspiring, international and highly interactive environment. Facilities include Protein Expertise Platform, X-ray, proteomics, NMR (850-400 MHz), cryo-EM and Biochemical Imaging Centre (confocal, SIM, FLIM, spinning disk, TIRF, STORM).


Project description and working tasks

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved self-eating process mainly purposed to eliminate or recycle dysfunctional cellular organelles or unused proteins. Autophagy plays an important role in development and ageing and has been associated with diverse human diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and pathogen infection. Emerging evidence shows that autophagy machinery also plays a role in several autophagy-independent processes. These “noncanonical” autophagy (NCA) pathways occur independent of part of the core autophagy machinery and play an important role in immune regulation and inflammation, modulation of the host-pathogen interaction, regulation of neuronal signaling and anti-cancer immunity.

Using a combination of cell biology, structural biology and chemical genetic approaches, we have elucidated fundamental mechanisms underlying autophagosome formation. Our laboratory has elaborated a novel mode of action for virulent bacteria (Legionella pneumophila, Vibrio cholerae) affecting host autophagy (eLife 2017, JCS 2021, JCB2022). We have identified novel chemotypes for autophagy modulation and new cellular pathways involved in autophagy regulation (Angew Chem 2017, Nat Chem Biol 2019, Autophagy 2021, Angew Chem 2022). Recently, we have made new findings in NCA. We identified the novel lysosomal targeting compound Inducin and ESCRT-III targeting compound Tantalosin that induce NCA (ChemBioChem 2023, PNAS 2024). We discovered a new pathway, the sphingomyelin-TECPR1 axis and TECPR1-ATG5–ATG12 as an alternative E3-like ligase for ATG8 lipidation in NCA (EMBO Rep 2023). This project will combine biochemical, cell biological and novel chemical approaches to understand molecular mechanisms of canonical and noncanonical autophagy. The techniques used in the project include protein expression and purification, protein/peptide synthesis, biochemical characterization, in vitro reconstitution, cell imaging, western blotting, and knock-out/down.


Qualifications

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organisations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area. Postdoctoral fellows who are to teach or supervise must have taken relevant courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

Doctoral degree in biochemistry, cell biology, chemical biology, molecular biology, or in another relevant field.

Additional requirements are:

Good command of written and spoken English.

Merits:

Experiences in protein expression and purification, protein/peptide chemistry, molecular cloning, membrane biochemistry, in vitro reconstitution, cell imaging, western blotting, and/or knock-out/down, as is a good record of research publication.

We seek a candidate who independently further their own studies but also be in close collaboration with other members of the team. Independence and good ability to collaborate are therefore requirements.


Application

A full application should include:

  • A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, your scientific interests, your motives for applying, and how you feel you meet the essential and meriting criteria (max 2000 characters with space),
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list, including both published papers and preprints with web/DOI,
  • Copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  • Copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades,
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and up to [3] relevant articles,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim.
  • Contact information to two persons willing to act as references.

The application must be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. The application is made through our electronic recruitment system. Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format. Log in to the system and apply via the button at the end of this page. The closing date is 14 June 2024.   


More information

For more information, please contact  Prof. Yaowen Wu, [email protected] Department of Chemistry, https://www.umu.se/en/research/groups/yaowen-wu/ ]

We look forward to receiving your application!


About us

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest departments within the Faculty of Science and Technology with approximately 200 employees and strong and expanding research. The Department has four major research areas: Biological Chemistry, IBEAM, Organic Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry. We are also a strong partner in the KBC, Chemical-Biological Center. For more information about working at Umeå University, https://www.umu.se/en/work-with-us/ .



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