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Research Fellow in Structural Biology

Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have an established background in structural biology? Do you want to further your career in one of the UKs leading research intensive Universities?

We are looking for an outstanding postdoctoral research fellow to join the Fontana and Calabrese labs at the University of Leeds. The fellow will be part of a large team (£5.7M, funded by a BBSRC Strategic Longer and Larger grant). The team aims to unravel the ‘ribosome code’, rules that explain how compositionally dissecting ribosomes enable translation of specific sets of mRNA. Specifically, the Research Fellow in Structural Biology will focus on the structural characterisation of the different ribosomes that we will purify during the project. This will include isolating specialised ribosomes from a variety of organisms, and structurally characterising these ribosomes by cryo-electron microscopy and structural mass spectrometry. This will be possible by taking advantage of the state-of-the-art equipment available at the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory (ABSL), which includes: two Titan Krios microscopes, equipped with Falcon 4 and Selectris Falcon 4 direct electron detectors; an Orbitrap Ultra-High Mass Range mass spectrometer (for native mass spectrometry of intact ribosomes); and a Orbitrap Eclipse mass spectrometer (for cross-linking mass spectrometry). We anticipate that by understanding the structure of different specialised ribosomes, by exploiting our combined cryo-EM and mass spectrometry toolkit, we will be able to dissect conserved mechanisms of ribosome specialisation across eukaryotes, allowing us to unravel the ‘ribosome code’.

You must have a PhD (or close to completion) in RNA, translation, structural biology or a closely allied discipline; and experience in either cryo-electron microscopy or mass spectrometry applied to the structural characterisation of macromolecules. You should also be willing to learn the other structural technique as the project will involve the use of both approaches.

The University of Leeds and the Faculty of Biological Sciences are committed to providing equal opportunities for all and offer a range of family friendly policies. The University is a charter member of Athena SWAN (the national body that promotes gender equality in higher education), and the Faculty of Biological Sciences was awarded a Silver award in 2020. We are proud to be an inclusive Faculty that values all staff, and are happy to consider job share applications and requests for flexible working arrangements from our employees. Our Athena SWAN webpage provides more information.


To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr Juan Fontana, Associate Professor.

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 34170 | Email: j.fontana@leeds.ac.uk 


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Biological Sciences
School/Institute:  School of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £35,333 to £42,155 p.a.
Due to funding limitations, it is unlikely an appointment will be made above £39,745
Working Time:  100% - this role will be based on the University campus, with scope for it to be undertaken in a hybrid manner. We are also open to discussing flexible working arrangements.
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (for 3 years with a latest possible end date of 28 February 2026)
Release Date:  Wednesday 11 January 2023
Closing Date:  Wednesday 08 February 2023
Reference:  FBSMB1248
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  
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Athena Swan Bronze Award
Equality and Inclusion - Everyone Included, Everyone Involved
HR Excellence in Research