University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Computational Biology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

Three Postdoctoral Research Fellow Positions

SARS-CoV-2 Envelope Protein

Structure- and Function-based Drug Discovery

University of Dundee, University of St. Andrews and Trinity College Dublin

Salary Grade 7 Salary Scale, £32,817 - £34,804 per annum depending on experience

Post Summary

The cation channel formed by the envelope protein in SARS-CoV2, CoV2E, is a target for therapeutics aimed at preventing and treating Covid-19 infection.

The goal of the current project is to i) solve high-resolution crystal structures of CoV2E, ii) apply computational electrophysiology and in silico screens including cheminformatics/machine learning approaches to identify CoV2E inhibitors from libraries of commercially available and repurposing drugs, and iii) perform lead validation and further development of inhibitors by electrophysiology and crystallography.

The project, funded by the UKRI (Ideas to Address COVID-19), will be performed by three Postdoctoral Research Fellows in the laboratories of Prof. Ulrich Zachariae (computational biology, University of Dundee), Prof. Martin Caffrey (X-ray crystallography, Trinity College Dublin) and Dr. Samantha Pitt (electrophysiology, University of St. Andrews).

Exciting postdoctoral research positions are available in the Caffrey and Zachariae Groups at this stage. We are looking for highly motivated, creative and hardworking individuals with experience in biochemistry and molecular biology to join this multidisciplinary research programme in labs that offer superb facilities and supportive environments. Individuals interested in moving into the membrane protein field are encouraged to apply.

Home department for the successful applicants will be the University of Dundee. The successful applicant for the position in the Caffrey lab will hold their appointment through the University of Dundee and will work full-time at Trinity College Dublin.

Person Specification

Zachariae Lab Position.

The candidate will ideally have a Ph.D. in biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry or a related field and experience in molecular dynamics simulations or computational chemistry. Further experience and interest in computational drug design is desirable. The candidate should be proficient in Python or similar scripting/programming languages. A high degree of motivation and the willingness to work in an interdisciplinary environment are expected.

Caffrey Lab Position.

The candidate will ideally have a Ph.D. in biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology or a related field. Demonstrated success in all aspects of molecular biology, recombinant protein production, purification, and functional characterization is required. Experience with membrane protein over-expression, crystallization, and structure-function studies is desirable. The candidate should be a highly motivated and creative individual who enjoys working as part of a collaborative, multidisciplinary team. Strong leadership, communication and teaching skills are decided assets. A willingness and freedom to travel worldwide on short-term projects is expected.

Principal Investigators

Prof. U. Zachariae

Dr. S. Pitt

Prof. Martin Caffrey

Application Procedure Candidates are asked to submit a letter detailing education, training and laboratory experience. In the letter, the candidate should outline why they feel they are suitable for the position in an interdisciplinary group that will involve extensive interaction with collaborators and data collection at facilities around the globe. The letter of application must be accompanied by a comprehensive CV to include the names and contact details of two referees (email addresses and phone numbers to be provided). At least one referee should be an individual the candidate has worked with and who has agreed to provide a letter of reference on the candidate’s behalf.

Please indicate in your letter which position you are interested in.

Apply Here

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. In this case the initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 28, £31,866).

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 Ulrich Zachariae at

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.