PostDoc Position Brussels/Orléans - Structural Biology

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), in collaboration with the CNRS Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire (CBM) in Orléans (France), is seeking candidates for a postdoctoral position in Biomolecular NMR.

 

The research is a continuation of the side-chain allosteric communication work discussed in Huculeci et al 2016 . We now aim to investigate whether the communication channel generated by the network of coupled side-chains that was identified within the SH2 domain expands towards the linker and the SH2 domain. Your work will be to analyse the NMR measurement data, which is already available, and determine the structures associated with unbound and different bound forms of the SH3-SH2 tandem. These structures will then be used to predict the long-distance patterns of side-chains dynamics in order to examine the effect of the binding event on the tandem. Below you will find a description of the overall project.

 

Research context: Communication is essential at all biological scales. Our cells have been rigged with communication systems that allow them to respond properly to environmental cues. These systems, or signaling pathways, are composed of different proteins, whose activity is regulated by other proteins.

This intricate regulatory system ensures that cells provide the right response, both in kind and magnitude. Errors in regulation often result in diseases.

Src kinases (SFK) are typical examples of proteins involved in signaling pathways. To control their activity, evolution has come up with an exquisite solution. Two modular parts of these proteins are responsible for regulating the activity of the third module, which performs the actual function of the kinase. Here, we aim to provide new insights into how the switching between active and inactive SFK may occur: We examine how dynamic information, induced by binding peptides to the regulating domains, flows through their structure and influences SFK activity. Our prior research suggests that a particular locking dynamics mediated by specific residue side- chains in those modules may play an essential role. This project aims to validate this hypothesis.

The results produced here will allow us to build methods capable of identifying regulatory hotspots in proteins, will provide explanations as to why certain residues are involved in disease and, more ambitiously, will allow us to design proteins with specific regulatory capabilities.

 

Offer: A full time international postdoctoral position for the duration of 2 years, funded by scholarship supplied by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), pending a review after the first 6 months.

 

Required:

- The candidate holds a PhD degree in Sciences, Bio-engineering

Sciences, or a related field.

- Excellent skills in Biomolecular NMR and structure determination.

- Good scripting skills, preferably in Python.

- Excellent communication skills in English: within the context of this

project you will be interfacing with scientists of different backgrounds.

- Publication in peer-reviewed international scientific journals.

- The candidate is open to collaborative work between the research

groups and willing to work in both Brussels and Orléans, with visits to the latter taking up to several months.

 

Desirable: Prior experience with CCPNMR and ARIA are a benefit and knowledge of French is an additional advantage.

 

Contact: Please submit a cover letter detailing your background and interest in this position, a full C.V, a list of international published articles (including a short abstract and information concerning citations and journal impact factors), and at least two references (with name, email, address, phone number).

 

All this information can be sent via email to tlenaert@ulb.ac.be

 

Application deadline: Please submit your application before the 15h May 2017.