Two Structural Biology PostDoc Research Associates (TRANS-GLIOMA Project)

Website elettrasincro Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste

Ref. E/18/20

CUP D93C17000330008

Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste is an international multidisciplinary research center operated as a user facility, featuring a 2.0/2.4 GeV, third-generation synchrotron light source and a variety of support laboratories. The extremely high quality of the machine and beamlines has set new performance records and has been producing results of great scientific interest. See for more information. A free-electron laser (FEL) based, fourth generation source – FERMI – is currently under commissioning. See for more information.

The project “TRANS-GLIOMA: Promotion of a Joint Translational Platform to Identify Innovative Therapies to Treat Glioblastoma“ is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the National Public Fund under the Interreg V-A Italia-Slovenija Programme. TRANS-GLIOMA aims to increase the cooperation between the key actors in the field of biomedicine (research institutes, hospitals, universities and enterprises), to promote the transfer of knowledge and innovative biomedical techniques in the field of brain cancer (glioblastoma) and improving the competitiveness of research in oncology. Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste is partner of the project with the task to investigate the biochemical and structural aspects of new pharmacological targets for glioblastoma.
Two position are available on distinct research topics: A) Helicases involved in DNA replication and repair; B) deubiquitinases and kinases involved in the ubiquitin signalling and in autophagy. The activities will be performed in the Structural Biology Laboratory of Elettra (

Job Description:

Position A: We are working on a variety of DNA and RNA helicases involved in DNA replication and repair, as well as other important cellular processes, such as recombination, sister chromatid cohesion, and telomere maintenance. Within the TRANS-GLIOMA project we will focus on helicases that are involved in the development and progression of glioma and glioblastoma, and could thus be putative drug targets. The successful candidate will work on the biochemical and structural characterization of one or more proteins, and may be involved in related research activities, in collaboration with TRANS-GLIOMA partners. He/she will be responsible for all the steps of the work, starting from protein expression and purification, to the biochemical, biophysical and structural analysis.
Position B: We are interested to study the role of deubiquitination in the cell and we are investigating the functional and structural determinants of different members of the Ubiquitin Specific Protease (USP) family and of some kinases regulatory kinases. In the TRANS-GLIOMA project we want to focus on those USPs and kinases that are predicted to have a potential effect in the insurgence and/or progression of glioma and glioblastoma and that are predicted to be candidate targets for new drugs or repositioning of existing drugs. The successful candidate will work on the biochemical and structural characterization of one or more proteins and will be involved in all the research activities related to the project, from the experimental set up and scientific decision, to the comparison with results and data obtained by other laboratories of the TRANS-GLIOMA partnership. The candidate will be responsible for her/his experimental activity from the initial cloning design, the protein production and the biochemical, biophysical and structural analysis with a drug discovery perspective.
The selected candidates will be working in a collaborative environment with other scientists of the Structural Biology Lab, with the beamline scientists of Elettra and with the scientists of the TRANS-GLIOMA partnership. Finally, they will participate to and present their results to the project meetings and to other conferences, meetings or workshops, as well as prepare and submit articles to scientific peer-reviewed journals.


A PhD in structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry, biotechnology or medicinal chemistry or a closely related subject is required. Hands-on experience in molecular biology, protein expression (in bacterial and/or eukaryotic systems) and purification is essential. Demonstrated experience in structural biology (especially crystallization and macromolecular crystallography), biochemical assays and biophysical characterization would be a distinctive advantage. Previous experience and knowledge of the scientific literature in cancer biology and in a field related to the two research topics (Position A: helicases, DNA replication & repair; Position B: deubiquitinases, kinases, ubiquitin signalling and autophagy) is desired, although not essential.
Good time management skills and ability to prioritize are expected, together with the ability to interact with collaborators and to tutor younger scientists, as well as to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are essential

The deadline for the submission of application is December 21st, 2018. The appointment envisioned is a fixed term contract of 12 months duration. The salary will be commensurate with previous experience and qualifications of the candidate.Applications should include a full curriculum vitae and publication list, the names and contact information (including electronic mail) of at least two, and possibly three references. We thank all applicants in advance.

Applications should be sent by e-mail:
For more information, please contact Silvia Onesti (email:, position A) or Dr. Paola Storici (email:, position B).

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