University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Grade 7 (£31,604 - £38,833)

Project Title: Developing new tools to unravel Cryptosporidium oocyst biology

The Pawlowic lab at the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) at the University of Dundee is recruiting a postdoctoral research fellow to study Cryptosporidium oocyst biogenesis.

Cryptosporidium is a major source of diarrheal-caused morbidity and mortality in young children worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine and no drugs are available to treat cryptosporidiosis. Recent adaption of CRISPR/Cas9 and establishment of disease models allow us for the first time to directly study the genetics and biochemistry of this parasite, and to develop much needed therapeutics. With new tools and an increased understanding of the global burden of cryptosporidiosis, it is an exciting time to study Cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is transmitted in the environment via the oocyst, an impenetrable shell that protects parasites from disinfectants, including bleach. The process by which Cryptosporidium synthesize and construct the protective oocyst wall is relatively unknown. This postdoctoral researcher will design and develop new biochemical and molecular techniques for use in Cryptosporidium including mass spectrometry analysis, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, and genome-wide screening strategies.

Successful applicants will demonstrate critical thinking, creativity, and enthusiasm for the study of neglected tropical diseases (NTD). Previous experience with Cryptosporidium is not required, but experience in parasitology or biochemistry is highly desired.

Required Experience/Skills:
• PhD in cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, or a related subject
• Basic tissue culture and molecular biology skills
• Detail-oriented and organized
• Excellent communication skills (reading, writing, speaking English)
• Demonstrable and clear understanding of experimental design
• Ability to read, analyse, and interpret scientific research articles and reports

Experience with the following is desirable; willingness to learn is essential:
• Category Level 2 tissue culture
• Apply for a personal licence
• General microbiology, molecular biology, microscopy skills
• CRISPR/Genome editing
• Analysis of data collected from whole genome sequencing/proteomics

This position is available immediately for up to two years. Interviews will be conducted in two stages, first via skype to be followed by an onsite interview.

Applicants should submit:
• Cover letter (please describe how you fulfil the requirements for the position; describe your past research experience, your goals for the future, and how this position relates to both)
• CV
• Contact information for three references

Informal enquiries can be emailed to Dr. Mattie Christine Pawlowic (

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. The initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Pt 28, £30,688).

You will benefit from state-of-the-art imaging, mass spectrometry, and drug discovery facilities housed in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. The University of Dundee is a leader in Life Sciences research in the UK and the new Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research consolidates the existing world-leading NTD drug discovery expertise within the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery bringing together the Drug Discovery Unit, the Mode of Action group and the Parasitology research groups providing an integrated pathway from discovery science to pre-clinical candidate selection.

You will work both independently as a project leader within the lab, and as a team member in multi-disciplinary projects in collaboration with the drug discovery group. You will have significant opportunities for interaction with and mentorship from leading experts in parasitology and drug discovery. The Pawlowic lab is committed to training the next generation of scientists and participating in public engagement- for which the University of Dundee has earned a Gold Engage Watermark.

How to apply:

To apply on-line click here.

The University of Dundee is a diverse community and is committed to equality of opportunity for all by providing a supportive, flexible and inclusive working environment.  We have family friendly policies (including flexible working and childcare vouchers), staff groups for LGBT and BME; and prayer room facilities.

The University of Dundee has received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award ( which recognises the promotion of gender equality and has made further commitment to advancing inclusive culture which supports and encourages all under-represented groups.

The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096.