NMR Post-Doc in Sydney, Australia

Post Doctoral Scientist: School of Life and Environmental Sciences (SOLES), University of Sydney, Australia.

Project Title: “NMR of cellular systems”

Laboratory: Philip Kuchel

Funding: Recently announced from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project scheme (DP190100520 to Kuchel; C. Cox, Mechanobiology, Victor Change Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney, NSW; D. Shishmarev, JCSMR, Australian National University, ACT; P. Galvosas, University of Wellington, NZ). We seek a Post-Doctoral Scientist to work in dynamic (EXSY and multiple quantum) NMR spectroscopy (metabolism, membrane transport, and cell biophysics) in the general area of mechanobiology.

Rationale: The Project will extend work described in a recent publication in which metabolic stimulation and transmembrane cation flux in red blood cells where shown, for the first time, to be enhanced simply by mechanically distorting the cells (in a custom-built NMR-compatible apparatus; Kuchel and Shishmarev (2017) “Accelerating metabolism and transmembrane cation flux by distorting red blood cells” Science Adv. 3: eaao1016).

Role and context: The Fellow will explore one of the most fundamental questions of living systems: “How do cells physically sense and respond to their surrounding environment, on a molecular level?” The way human organs develop and function is determined by the shape, size, and relative disposition of their constituent cells. This provides the context and motivation for the Project. Outcomes will be novel scientific methods for investigating cells that are mechanically distorted, which will lead to a breakthrough in the basic understanding of how cells control their shape and volume under physiological conditions. Benefits emerging from this Project will be an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that operate when cells and tissues succumb to trauma or invasion by other cells (as in cancer spreading), and how to control these processes either physically or with drugs.

Expected career outcomes: The appointee will receive training in and contribute to developments of the theory and applications of advanced multinuclear dynamic NMR spectroscopy as it applies to cellular systems. The focus will be on human red blood cell biophysics. The technology will be used to non-invasively monitor metabolic reactions and transmembrane transport processes using unique NMR-based methods that have been developed in the host laboratory e.g., Kuchel, P. W., Kirk, K., and Shishmarev, D. (2018) The NMR ‘split peak effect’ in cell suspensions: Historical perspective, explanation and applications. Prog. NMR Spect. 104, 1-11.

Appointment: up to 2.5 years in the first instance, with a starting date being any time between July 2019 and January 2020.

Location: The successful candidate will be based at the University of Sydney and, by virtue of the collaborations (noted above), work will take place in laboratories in Sydney and Wellington, New Zealand. The NMR facility at SOLES, Sydney, includes Bruker 400, 600, and 800 MHz NMR spectrometers, equipped with liquid-state room temperature and cryogenic probes.

Essential qualifications: The appointee will hold a PhD in Chemistry, Physics or Physical Biochemistry (or related fields) and have a strong background in liquid-state NMR spectroscopy and computational skills for data analysis in Mathematica, MatLab, or other programming environments.

Information: please contact Philip Kuchel (philip.kuchel@sydney.edu.au)

To apply: please send a CV and letter of motivation to philip.kuchel@sydney.edu.au

Deadline: 15 February 2019