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Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Posting ID 119132
Department Biochemistry/Carver College of Medicine
Jobcode Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Working Title Postdoctoral Research Scholar

This person will work in the research laboratory of Maria Spies. The goal of the Spies’ lab is to dissect the mechanisms that funnel “normal” DNA repair intermediates into “rogue” processes that destabilize the genome and lead to cancer, cell death and/or emergence of chemotherapeutic resistance, and to be able to manipulate these processes in development of new cancer therapies. The projects in the lab range from biochemical reconstitutions of DNA recombination, repair and replication reactions and structural and single-molecule analyses of the proteins and enzymes coordinating these reactions, to development of new single-molecule technologies and combined HTS/CADD campaigns that identify scaffolds that can be developed into potent inhibitors of human DNA repair proteins. We are looking for motivated recent PhD (MD/PhD) graduates to carry out projects that will provide a greater understanding of the coordinated and dynamic nucleoprotein transactions critical for high fidelity DNA repair and replication. The ideal fit for the Spies’ lab is a postdoctoral researcher with a background in single-molecule biophysics, structural biology or biochemistry of protein-nucleic acid interactions and a desire to extend their expertise in these areas, and/or to branch into drug discovery. We are also looking for biochemists or molecular/cancer biologists with an expertise in DNA repair, replication, recombination who are interested in learning single-molecule biophysics and structural biology. This person will be responsible for the generation and interpretation of experimental data, presentation of the data at scientific meetings, drafting the scientific manuscripts describing the data and assisting in the daily operations of the laboratory. This person will be also encouraged to apply for extramural and/or intramural funding.


1. Biochemical and single-molecule TIRFM analyses of the DNA repair proteins MSH2/6, RAD51, RAD52 and/or replication fork remodeling motors.

2. HTS screens for small molecules disrupting protein-DNA interactions

3. DNA plasmid construction and mutagenesis (PCR, DNA purification, bacterial transformations)

4. Expression of recombinant proteins in bacteria, baculovisrus or human cells, protein purification using FPLC, SDS-PAGE, and Western blot analysis

5. Will work with core facilities to perform structural studies of proteins and protein-ligand complexation by X-ray, CryoEM and NMR

6. Perform library research on topics studied, prepare research materials for reports, and assist in the preparation of papers for publication.

7. Order general laboratory supplies, maintain equipment, and sustain laboratory organization.

8. Analyze and interpret data with the help of others in the laboratory, and determine the validity of the results. Keep detailed laboratory notebooks recording experimental data and analyses and present these findings at weekly lab meetings. Recommend further experiments and/or changes in procedures.

Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

Recent PhD in biochemistry, biological sciences, or related scientific discipline. Strong publication record. Expertise in single-molecule, biochemical or structural (NMR or X-ray crystallography) analysis of proteins and protein-DNA interactions.

Experience Required

1. Protein purification expertise

2. Single-molecule or biochemical analysis of protein-DNA interactions

3. Proficiency in computer use.

4. Demonstrated excellent written and verbal communication skills

Desirable Qualifications

1. Fluorescence spectroscopy (fluorescence, fluorescence polarization anisotropy, FRET)

2. Structural biology (NMR or X-ray crystallography)

3. Experience in purifying and working with DNA repair proteins.

4. Proficiency in computer use (Windows and Office applications, GraphPad Prism, MatLab, QuB).

5. Strong organizational skills

6. Knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of homologous recombination, DNA repair, DNA replication, genome stability

Application Instructions Send a cover letter detailing experiences and reasons for applying, CV, and 3 references to
Ad Start Date 11/13/2019
Ad End Date 12/31/2019