Postdoctoral researcher position; MINECO research grant: PID2020-117028GB-I00

Website ALBAsynchrotron Alba Synchrotron


ALBA is the Spanish national synchrotron light source, a large research infrastructure operating ten beamlines, complementary facilities, an Electron Microscopy center and currently constructing multiple more beamlines and a correlative microscopy platform.

Located in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona, Spain), it is funded by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament d’Empresa i Coneixement). The synchrotron light produced by 3 GeV electrons is used by thousands of researchers to analyse and understand the properties and functionality of matter, spanning a wide variety of fields, such as catalytic research, health, energy production/storage, environmental research, communication technologies, or cultural heritage.

Our highly motivated staff works in a multidisciplinary work environment with an atmosphere formed by lived diversity, inclusion and respect for our colleagues. Located close to Barcelona in a natural park and well connected by car and public transportation, you will find yourself in an area where others make vacation, with excellent connectivity to the world and an employer who understands the importance of life-work balance.

With ALBA facing an upgrade to ALBA II, a 4th generation facility, which will increase dramatically brightness and coherent flux, ALBA is in a phase of growth and dynamics. With new beamlines, integration of advanced data analytics, laboratory resources for dedicated research areas, and a correlative microscopy platform, ALBA provides a wide range of infrastructure geared toward finding solutions to societal challenges. Being a part of the ALBA team will promote your career and will give you the opportunities to explore new territories.

As the successful candidate, you will work with a team of ALBA experts, external collaborators to investigate the structural basis of transcriptional regulation in plants and bacterial conjugation. In this diverse, highly interactive team, you will have excellent conditions to refine your scientific expertise, the technical and biological background, and most importantly to build a broad and carrying network for your future scientific career. You will build national and international recognition by using opportunities to publish and present your scientific results and approaches at conferences, workshops and seminars.

ALBA synchrotron has been awarded with a MINECO research grant, cofinanced by FEDER, entitled “Structural mechanism of Regulation of Transcription and Exchange of Genetic Material in Gram positive Bacteria and Land Plants” and reference PID2020-117028GB-I00. Our research in this area has been published in top-tier journals such as Cell, Nat. Comm, Nat. Plants, Nucl. Acid Res., PNAS. A fraction of the abstract of the research grant proposal is given below for information:

“Our lab studies structural mechanisms of regulation of gene transcription and DNA exchange in different organisms. These processes are tightly linked to developmental processes and to response to environmental triggers. When gene regulation goes wrong, many problems can occur, causing cell death, or uncontrolled growth of cellular tissues.

Our objective is to gain knowledge about aspects of natural processes of DNA transcription and exchange that play a central role in biology and that are crucial to human wellbeing and sustainability. One such process is conjugation, which is the main horizontal gene transfer route responsible for spreading antibiotic resistance (AR)  genes. The design of strategies to impede conjugation-mediated spread of AR genes requires a better understanding of different aspects of the conjugation process may. So far, little is known about conjugation occurring in Gram-positive bacteria. Moreover, conjugation is a natural method to genetically modify bacteria and hence it can be exploited to modify industrial and clinical important bacteria that are reluctant to modification by other methods.”


Specifically, you will in collaboration with the beamline team:

• Engage in the on-going research program, national and European projects and collaborations. This may also include the initiation of new projects if appropriate.
• The overexpression of proteins and interaction partners relevant to the project in expression hosts such as E.coli and the baculovirus/insect system.
• The study of the interactions at the molecular level in vitro and the determination the structures of the partners and their complexes using various techniques such as Size Exclusion Chromatography, Surface Plasmon Resonance, Mass Spectrometry, Structural Biology methods etc.
• Structural characterization of the complexes of different pLS20 proteins with different DNA sequences, where relevant, using X-ray crystallography and electron


• The applicant must have a doctorate in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or related disciplines.
• Proven ability to propose and conduct an independent research program using the XALOC instrumentation and the ALBA biolab, focused towards regulation of transcription, bacterial conjugation and protein-ligand interactions.
• A good level of English both written and spoken is a must. The working language at ALBA is English.
• Good interpersonal skills and capabilities to work in a group, adaptability to a multidisciplinary environment, sense of responsibility and capabilities to work in a group as well as to work independently.

• Sound practice of commonly used biochemical and molecular biology techniques.
• Experience in single particle electron microscopy will be highly valued
• Extensive hands-on experience in molecular cloning, protein purification and expression.
• Experience in the biology of protein-DNA interactions.
• Knowledge of programming languages especially Python.

Other information

• Salary depends on qualifications and experience.
• The contract follows working conditions accordant to CELLS regulations.

– Documents to be submitted:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Literature list

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