University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

Structural Biology of Atypical Multi-subunit E3 ligase Complexes

The enzymatic attachment of the small protein ubiquitin is a prevalent post-translational modification that regulates almost all aspects of human biology. E3 ligases confer substrate specificity yet the mechanistic diversity of this enzyme family remains poorly defined. Furthermore, E3 ligase activity lies at the heart of many diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders and neurodegeneration, and holds great promise as a therapeutic target.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral scientist in the lab of Dr Satpal Virdee. The project will involve definitive structural characterisation of the large, multi-subunit E3 ligase complex centred on the unusual E3 machinery present within MYCBP2 (Pao et al. Nature 2018; Mabbitt et al. Nat Chem. Biol. in press). The role of the MYCBP2 E3 complex in positively regulating programmed axon degeneration, and its non-lysine activity, make its structural characterisation essential for uncovering therapeutic opportunities and furthering our understanding of its substrate biology.

Motivated candidates should ideally have recently carried out a PhD working in the area of structural biology with experience in cryoEM and/or crystallography. The positions will be a fantastic opportunity for candidates to broaden their skillset by working in an internationally competitive lab using state-of-the-art multidisciplinary technologies. The successful applicants will join an international team in an exciting and interactive environment, equipped to the very highest standards, and with generous consumable support. For informal enquiries please contact Dr Virdee directly

Candidate requirements:

  • PhD, with outstanding academic track record and at least one first authored publication in an internationally recognized journal.
  • Capable of working in a team, but able to plan and work independently.
  • Excellent communication skills and knowledge of the English language.

Apply Here

MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (PPU):

The MRC-PPU is one of the world’s most renowned centres for research on protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation ( and has an exciting and collaborative research environment, equipped to the highest international standards. The major aims of the MRC-PPU are to advance understanding of the role of protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation in cell regulation and human disease; to facilitate the development of drugs to treat diseases caused by abnormalities in phosphorylation; and to generate reagents and improve technologies. Another key remit of the MRC-PPU is to train the next generation of scientists who will advance our understanding in this crucial area of medical research. The MRC-PPU is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the estuary of the River Tay and embedded within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.

The position is available immediately and open to both international and UK candidates. The appointment will be made on the University of Dundee postdoctoral salary Grade 7 scale plus superannuation with initial placement depending on achievements and experience, but will range from £32,817 – £40,322.

This contract is for a fixed term period of 3 years with the possibility for extension.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

For further information about this position please contact Satpal Virdee at  To find out more about Satpal Virdee’s Research Group please visit

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.