Postdoctoral position in Chemistry (NMR-based structural biology)

This postdoctoral position is part of a project where we investigate the structure of membrane-coupled
proteins of the Bcl-2 family by using mainly solid-state NMR methods (complementary also neutron
scattering approaches). The Bcl-2 family regulates how nature removes damaged, infected and redundant
cells via a strictly controlled process, named programmed cell death (apoptosis).

The employment that is placed on the Department of Chemistry is full-time for a period of two years,
starting at a date decided in agreement between the two parties.

Project description

This postdoctoral position is part of a research project where we will investigate the regulation of
programmed cell death at the molecular level with focus on the structure of the proteins and biological
membranes involved in this important process. Important key players in the mitochondrial (intrinsic) cell
death pathway are membrane-active proteins of the Bcl-2 family. Family members with opposite
functions meet at the outer membrane of mitochondria, where they determine the fate of a cell, namely to
live or to die. The main objective of this project is to understand the function – and underlying structural
properties – of these proteins and their interaction with the mitochondrial membrane environment. For
this purpose we will use structural biological methods focusing on solid-state NMR spectroscopy of
lipid-protein complexes. By applying advanced solid-state NMR approaches, we will be able to provide
structural insight into the molecular mechanism by which the survival membrane protein Bcl-2 and its
antagonist, the cell-killing Bax protein, interact with each other at the mitochondrial membrane and
thereby determine the fate of the cell. In addition, we will also use neutron reflectometry on these lipid
protein complexes. The Postdoc will primarily study the membrane bound Bcl-2 proteins. The
Department of Chemistry offers access to an excellent research infrastructure within the KBC
environment (www.kbc.umu.se) with access to solid phase/liquid 850 MHz NMR and neutron sources in
Europe (mainly ESS/ISIS). The work will be carried out in a multidisciplinary environment.

Qualifications

The required qualification is a doctoral degree or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent to a
doctorate in chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics or equivalent field. Priority should be given to
candidates who have completed their doctoral degree no more than three years before the closing date of
the application, unless special circumstances exist. Previous extensive experience of protein structure
determination by solid-fast NMR is required and previous experience with membrane proteins is highly
meriting. You shall have a keen interest in the area of NMR-based structural biology and be prepared to
take on scientific and technological challenges. Training and/or experience in biochemistry, structural
biology and/or biophysical chemistry, as well as neutron scattering on biological samples are a strong
merit. You must be creative with good teamwork skills, be initiative-driven and have a high degree of
independence. Good knowledge of English, both written and spoken, and a very good ability to write
scientific publications is required.

Application

A complete application should contain the following documents:

• A cover letter including a description of your qualifications, research interests and motivation for
applying, and your contact information (maximum 2 pages)
• A curriculum vitae, including a publication list
• Copies of your PhD thesis and relevant publications
• Copies of degree certificates or equivalent, including documentation of completed academic courses
and obtained grades
• Name and contact information of at least two reference persons

The application can be written in Swedish or English. Applications must be submitted via our recruiting
system (https://umu.mynetworkglobal.com/en/what:job/jobID:211361/). Log on and apply via the button at the bottom of the page. Reference number: AN 2.2.1-989-18. The last day to apply is 2018-08-15.

For more information please contact Professor Gerhard Gröbner, phone: +4690-7866346, email: gerhard.
grobner@umu.se