University of Dundee

Research Technician - Cell Biology

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Friday, September 28, 2018
Grade 6 (£26,243 - £32,236)

Professor Alessio Ciulli’s laboratory is seeking a Biology research technician to support an exciting drug discovery project funded by an industrial partner. The successful applicant will be based within the Ciulli lab in Dundee ( and will work as part of a multidisciplinary group interested in understanding and characterising Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) important to human biology and relevant to human diseases, and targeting them with drug-like small-molecule inhibitors and degraders. The laboratory employs a wide variety of molecular cell biology and structural chemical biology techniques to address these problems. Specifically, the laboratory is pioneering novel chemical structural biology approaches to target E3 ubiquitin ligases (see Maniaci et al. Nat. Commun. 2017 and Gadd et al. Nat. Chem Biol. 2017 for recent publications from the group in this area).

The project aims to develop novel small-molecule ligands and chemical probes targeting Cullin RING E3 Ubiquitin Ligases (CRLs) - the largest family of multisubunit ubiquitylating enzymes – using structure-based drug design. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in industry-style early-stage drug discovery within an academic setting. The successful candidate will also be expected to contribute to the routine running of the laboratory.

Duties will include:

• Develop and optimize relevant cell-based and biochemical assays to support drug discovery efforts

• Applying these assays to profile cellular activity of compounds and to interrogate target relevant mechanisms

• Culturing human cell lines and use modern technologies to generate new cell lines

• Assist the Postdoctoral Researchers with protein expression, purification and in vitro biophysical and biochemical assay development for the project, including performing routine cloning of constructs and site-directed mutants

• Contributing to the development and optimization of core molecular cell biology and biochemistry techniques and assays to support the project and the laboratory

• Support, organise and ensure the practical aspects of the day-to-day running of the project

• Develop, maintain and curate the Lab’s bio-lab reagent database (plasmids, vectors, antibodies, cell lines)

• Assist Researchers with developing, maintaining and curating of the group’s databases and inventories

• Present at group meetings

• Report directly to the Principal Investigator (Prof. Ciulli) 

Your qualifications, skills and experience:

• Applicants should have good A-level or equivalent Higher qualifications, or a degree in a relevant biochemical or biological subject.

• Previous laboratory experience of biochemistry and/or chemical / molecular / cell biology techniques is required

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and computer proficiency are essential

• Experience with culturing cells in Category 2 facilities is strongly desirable

• An interest in early-stage drug discovery would be advantageous

The successful candidate will be based within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, one of the top life science research institutes in Europe for Biological Sciences. Comprising about 100 research groups, the highest number of citations-per-paper for biological sciences in Europe and over £100 million of research income in 2013, the School has nearly 900 staff from more than 60 countries worldwide and is equipped with outstanding laboratory and technology facilities to conduct cutting-edge research.

The post is available immediately and salary will depend on experience, but will be up to £32,236. The post is available for a fixed term period of 12 months in the first instance, with the possibility of being renewed for another 12 months in the first instance.

Informal enquiries may be made to Prof Alessio Ciulli, e-mail:


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