MRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Closing date: 
Monday, 7 March, 2016
£28,007 - £30,791
Full time
Contract type: 
3 year fixed term

The MRC wishes to appoint a postdoctoral scientist to join Professor John Walker’s ATP Synthase research group in the Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge.

The post-holder will work on the structure and mechanism of the ATP synthase. The aim is to understand the molecular mechanism of the generation of rotation in the enzyme. Understanding rotation driven by the transmembrane proton-motive force is an unsolved problem dependent on defining the molecular mechanism for translocation of protons through the membrane domain of the enzyme. The work will build on our recently published 4 Å structure of a bacterial enzyme. X-ray crystallographic and cryo-electron microscopic approaches will be employed. An allied aim is to understand the generation of rotation in the opposite sense driven by the hydrolysis of ATP by X-ray crystallographic structure determination of different states in the catalytic cycle. The post-holder will work with other scientists to exploit knowledge differences in the mechanisms of human and bacterial ATP synthases to develop new drugs against bacterial infections.

Candidates will have (or be about to be awarded) a PhD in a biochemistry, biophysics or molecular biology, and a track record of related research achievements. Previous experience with any or all of the following techniques would be an advantage: isolation and crystallization of membrane proteins, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy and single particle analysis.

This is a three-year training and development position for a post-doctoral scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited previous experience of key transferable skills. Your salary is supported by a flexible pay and reward policy, 30 days’ annual leave entitlement and an optional MRC final salary pension scheme.

The MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit is a world-renowned centre for research in respiratory enzymes. Additional information can be found at

Applicants should include a CV and covering letter with their application, along with contact information for two professional referees who can be approached prior to interview.