Post-Doctoral Research Associate on Bacterial Chemotaxis

Website DiamondLightSou Diamond Light Source

Business Area: Science
Full Time Salary: £33,963 to £39,955 per annum (Discretionary range to £45,949)
Post Type: Full time / Fixed term
Term: 3 years
Closing Date: 31/07/2021
Ref No: 10556

About Us

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences.

eBIC, the Electron Bio-Imaging Centre at Diamond, is the UK national cryoEM facility, which provides scientists with state-of-the-art instruments and expertise in cryoEM. Currently eBIC houses four Titan Krios, a Talos Arctica, and a Glacios, two cryoFIB/SEM instruments (Scios and Aquilos), and a Leica cryoCLEM for correlative light and electron microscopy –

About the Role

We now have two PDRA positions available in Professor Zhang’s lab at the eBIC in Diamond. The positions are funded by a 5-year ERC AdG grant award on “Molecular choreography of bacterial chemotaxis signalling”.

We are seeking highly motivated scientists to conduct high-resolution structural analysis of chemosensory arrays in distinct conformational states, in vitro and in vivo in native cells, as well as in time-resolved signalling states upon chemical stimulation, using cryoET and subtomogram averaging.

Chemotaxis – a ubiquitous biological behaviour enabling the movement of a cell or organism toward or away from chemicals – has severed as a paradigmatic model for the study of cellular sensory signal transduction and motile behaviour. This project is focused on understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of chemosensory array assembly, activation by its stimulus and high cooperativity, by determining the precise interactions between the signalling components within in vitro reconstituted array systems and in native E. coli cells. We will use a combination of innovative and cutting-edge cryoEM/ET methods, including high-resolution cryoET subtomogram averaging, time-resolved conformational changes during signalling, and computational modelling of dynamics, as well as in vivo functional assays, to investigate the structural and dynamical mechanisms underlying signal transduction, propagation, and regulation in the chemosensory array.

About You

You should have a PhD in structural biology or equivalent, and have a demonstrated record of accomplishment in conducting high quality original research.

Knowledge and research experience in cryoEM and/or cryoET, including both experimental and computational, are essential.

Substantial experience in protein biochemistry and structural biology is desirable.

You should demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills and a flexible approach to work.


Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities.

To Apply

Please use the online application process to apply and tell us why you believe you are suitable for this role.

Other information

Where relevant, and possible for the role, we will consider flexible working arrangements and secondment opportunities.

Diamond attract talented individuals from around the world and currently employ 44 different nationalities.  Reflecting trends in our sector we employ more men than women (77% men and 23% women as at March 2021). Therefore, in accordance with law and good practice, we particularly welcome applications from suitably qualified women.

If you are disabled and would like to be considered under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, please let us know via the online application process.

Diamond are members of Working Families (the UK’s work-life balance organisation), we have also achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award and Disability Confident Level One.

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