MRC Postdoctoral Scientist LMS 1337

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: London, ENGLAND
Deadline: 18 Aug 2020

View Vacancy -- MRC Postdoctoral Scientist LMS 1337
Open Date
17/07/2020, 10:00
Close Date
18/08/2020, 23:55

MRC London Institute of Medical Science

The London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) at Hammersmith Hospital is the third directly funded MRC research institute and enjoys close links with its partners at Imperial College and at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The LMS research focuses on strengthening the basic science underpinning our understanding of human diseases and the translation of such high quality research into a clinical setting.
UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 4


£36,631 - £39,472 pa inclusive*

Fixed Term


Full Time

3 years

Overall purpose:

The Single Molecule Imaging Group headed by Prof David Rueda focuses on developing and applying single molecule-based microscopy (SMM) approaches to study fundamental biological processes involving nucleic acids and proteins with molecular resolution. We are particularly interested in elucidating various molecular mechanisms involving protein-nucleic acid complexes, such as gene expression, chromatin structure, DNA repair, etc. The group’s research program combines multi-disciplinary approaches (including single-molecule FRET, optical and magnetic tweezers, live-cell imaging, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, etc) to elucidate these mechanisms at the molecular level.


In collaboration with the Cell Cycle Research Group (Prof Luis Aragon), we are developing optical tweezers (Lumicks C-trap) assays to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which SMC protein complexes (such as Cohesin) function on DNA substrates (e.g., see Gutierrez-Escribano et al 2019 Science Advances). We are now looking for a talented postdoc to apply this technology to further elucidate these mechanisms.


For more information see . Recent publications include Gutierrez-Escribano et al Science Advances (2019), Newton et al NSMB (2019), Willhoft et al Science (2018), Cawte et al Nature Communications (2020).


Job Summary:

The post holder will develop and apply single-molecule based approaches to study the molecular mechanism of SMC protein complexes, chromatin structure and DNA repair (see Gutierrez-Escribano et al Science Advances, 2019). The proposed project will involve imaging with in our cutting-edge C-trap (Lumicks). The successful applicant must hold a PhD in Biophysics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or equivalent. A strong experimental background and experience in complex protein purification or single-molecule Biophysics are essential. Advanced skills in Biochemistry and Structural Biology are desirable. Cross-field applicants with a background in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics that have a keen interest in Molecular Biology are also encouraged to apply.

Main Responsibilities:

  • To plan and carry out research in accordance with the project aims.
  • To work both independently and on collaborative projects.
  • To attend project and related research group meetings.
  • To interact and collaborate with group members.
  • Write-up and publish of work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • To take an active part in the academic activities of the LMS.
  • To attend and contribute to journal clubs and seminar presentations.
  • Present findings at national and international meetings.
  • To form excellent working relationships with other members of the group, and internal and external collaborators.
  • To assist others and co-supervise students when required.


Education / Qualifications / Training required (will be assessed from application form):


  • PhD (or equivalent experience) in an area of Biophysics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or any other related discipline
  • Excellent experimental skills
  • Protein purification skills
  • Protein-Nucleic Acid Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology
  • Data analysis in Matlab or equivalent



  • Single Molecule Imaging experience
  • Advanced imaging analysis skills


Previous work experience required (will be assessed from application form and at interview):


  • Extensive experimental/bench work experience
  • Experience in Biochemistry
  • Experience with Molecular Biology methods
  • Evidence that the candidate can plan and carry out a research project



  • Experience handling, purifying and labelling nucleic acids and proteins


Knowledge and experience (will be assessed from application form and at interview):


  • Excellent knowledge of protein handling and purification
  • Knowledge of nucleic acids/protein biology/biochemistry
  • Experience with microscopy/imaging methods
  • Programming experience, knowledge of Matlab or equivalent
  • Strong publication record
  • Excellent written communication skills in English



  • Familiarity with combining experimental and computational methods
  • Excellent experimental skills


Personal skills/behaviours/qualities (will be assessed at the interview):


  • Highly motivated
  • Cautious thinker
  • Ability and desire to work in a collaborative research environment
  • Very good interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to share knowledge and transfer skills to other members of the group on a daily basis
  • Excellent verbal communication skills in English



  • Evidence of ability to conduct research independently
  • Pro-actively seek innovative solutions to scientific problems
  • Willingness to work in a diverse, multi-cultural environment


*Salary quoted is inclusive of London weighting. Additional allowances comprise a £1,000 lump sum Settlement Allowance plus a yearly Training Allowance of £850 in the first year, paid in monthly instalments. The Training Allowance increases to £1,300 in year two, and £1,800 in the third year.

  • Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.
  • Final appointment will be subject to pre-employment screening.
  • Please upload your CV, the names and contacts of two scientific references, along with a cover letter stating why you are applying for this post (showing evidence against the requirements as per the Job Description and Person Specification).

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.
Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.
We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

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