University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistants to understand the molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease

Unit: 
Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit
Job Reference: 
SLSC0781
Closing Date: 
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Salary: 
Grade 7 - 8 (£32,817 - £49,553)

Summary of Job Purpose and Principal Duties:

We are seeking postdoctoral researchers to participate in a major new global network to undertake fundamental research to understand the molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease through open and interdisciplinary collaboration. This is an opportunity to be part of the biggest initiative in history to accelerate understanding of the origins of Parkinson’s disease, embracing high quality and fully open science. The work will focus on understanding the regulation and function of two protein kinases implicated in Parkinson’s namely LRRK2 and PINK1 and how these enzymes regulate lysosome and mitochondrial dysfunction.

The appointed researchers will be based within the laboratories of Dario Alessi and Miratul Muqit within the University of Dundee’s MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU, http://www.ppu.mrc.ac.uk/). The project involves significant collaboration with the laboratories of Suzanne Pfeffer and Monther Abu-Remaileh at Stanford University. In addition, there will be opportunity to interact with other laboratories worldwide involved in this initiative. This project is geared towards deciphering mechanistic biology by which LRRK2 and PINK1 are linked to Parkinson’s disease.

We seek to appoint ambitious postdoctoral researchers with cutting edge expertise in one of the following areas:

1. Mechanistic cell biology and/or understanding and analysis of signal transduction pathways. The applicants will employ a multidisciplinary approach including molecular, biochemical, physiological, proteomic, pharmacological and genetic methodologies including CRISPR/CAS9 knock-out and knock-in technology. Knock-in and knock-out cellular and mouse models will be utilised. There will be opportunity to gain experience in mass spectrometry.

2. Mass spectrometry with expertise in quantitative proteomic analysis including analysis of PTMs. Experience in using instruments available within the MRC-PPU including Orbitrap Lumos, Exploris, Exactive HF-X or Bruker timsTOF is essential. A strong desire to participate and gain experience in undertaking biological studies to generate samples and validate data would be an advantage and training can be provided. A good knowledge in Python, R and/or MATLab and ability to write and develop scripts as well as modify and implement open source or published code is desirable. A good understanding of statistical knowledge is preferable. Experience in handling multi-omics (Integration of Proteomics, metabolomics or lipidomics) data is preferable but not necessary.

3. Data analysis with expertise in analysing and quantifying proteome and metabolite MS data. Expertise in state of the art bioinformatic approaches is essential for this position. A good knowledge in Python, R and/or MATLab and ability to write and develop scripts as well as modify and implement open source or published code is desirable. A good understanding of statistical knowledge is preferable. Ability to interact and communicate effectively with researchers in different teams is essential.

In your application please include a covering letter and CV. For informal enquiries please contact Professor Dario Alessi (d.r.alessi@dundee.ac.uk) or Professor Miratul Muqit (m.muqit@dundee.ac.uk).

Candidate Requirements:

  • PhD with outstanding academic track record and at least one first authored publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal.
  • Strong background in one more of the following: Biochemistry, Mass Spectrometry, Molecular Biology, Signal Transduction, Data and bioinformatic analysis is necessary.
  • Experience and strong interest in signal transduction research and how disruptions of these pathways are linked to neurodegeneration and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Capable of working in a team, and able to plan and work independently.
  • Excellent communication skills and knowledge of the English language are essential.
  • The candidate should have ambitions to become a successful independent researcher either in academia or the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry.

Apply Here

The positions are available for 3 years.

Appointment will be made on the University of Dundee Grade 7 scale points 29-33 only (£32,817 - £36,914 per annum) or Dundee Grade 8 scale points 37- 43 (£41,526 to £49,553 per annum) depending on experience.

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 would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 - 28 £29,176 - £31,866).

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 (http://www.ppu.mrc.ac.uk/). Many world leading researchers in the field of signal transduction have trained within the MRC-PPU. 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, to generate reagents and improve technologies. A 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.

School of Life Sciences

The MRC-PPU is based within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is the highest-rated for Biological Sciences in the UK by the main standard of University research performance REF2014 (http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/). Comprising about 100 research groups, the highest number of citations-per-paper for biological sciences in Europe (2013 and 2014 QS World University Rankings), over £100 million of research income in 2013 and nearly 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide, the School enjoys a reputation as one of the most dynamic international centres for molecular cell biology, with outstanding laboratory and technology facilities. 'Lateral' and 'vertical' interactions within and between research groups are actively encouraged and 13% of publications in the past 5 years have been collaborations between two or more groups.

The University's statement on the use of animals in research can be found here: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/research/governance-policy/policyroadmap/statement-on-use-of-animals