You are here: Home News Research Associate/Fellow (Fixed Term)

Research Associate/Fellow (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for this 3-year postdoctoral fellowship as part of a prestigious £3.17M project, DETOX, funded by the BBSRC Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst.

Interview Date: To be confirmed

Applications are invited for this 3-year postdoctoral fellowship as part of a prestigious £3.17M project, DETOX, funded by the BBSRC Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst. The project involves collaborations with the University of York, Sheffield, Exeter and Cambridge and our industrial partners, Lucite, Green Biologics, Ingenza and CPI. The aim of the project is to solve problems with product toxicity in industrial fermentation processes, which currently restricts yields of bulk chemical products to uneconomic levels. DETOX uses multi-omics approaches to understand mechanisms of product toxicity towards metabolically engineered bacteria and, thus, to design strategies to improve their tolerance through synthetic biology.

Your challenge is to complement this effort by characterising bacterial membrane sensitivity and tolerance to industrial chemicals and to engineer membrane components in bacteria for enhanced tolerance. The work will involve studying the physicochemical effects of toxic chemicals on bacterial membranes using solid state NMR and other biophysical methods.  In silico protein and membrane engineering and molecular dynamics simulations will be used to design synthetic biology strategies to improve membrane resistance to toxic chemicals, and the host cells will be reverse engineered to test your predictions. Engineered recombinant membrane proteins will be produced and validated structurally and functionally. DETOX also includes bioinformatics to integrate the results from your membrane studies with the transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics analyses by other members of the postdoctoral team, thus enabling the consortium to design, develop and test new, highly productive host strains for bio-based chemicals manufacturing.

We seek highly motivated and creative candidates who should have or expect to obtain a PhD in biophysics, biochemistry, structural biology or related field. Candidates with experience in membrane biophysics, molecular biology, solid state or solution NMR, membrane proteins and computational biology are particularly encouraged to apply. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential and you must be able to work in a multidisciplinary team.

The environment:

The University of Nottingham is a research-led institution with a world-leading reputation in magnetic resonance. You will join the Biomembrane NMR lab, which works in close collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and the Microbiology Division within the School of Life Sciences at Nottingham. The group is well equipped with in-house 400 MHz solid state NMR system, configured for membrane work and a GPU-server for MD simulations along with protein and peptide production and purification wet lab. As a key partner in the new £2.5M 600 MHz DNP NMR Facility at Nottingham, the group has regular use of this unique in the UK system. We also have access to the 800 MHz and a number of lower field solution NMR systems.  Work in the lab is highly collaborative and the lab is a major user of the Nottingham HPC, the new HPC Midlands Plus and has regular access to Diamond and ISIS.

This post is available for 3 years.

The School of Life Sciences holds an Athena Silver SWAN Award, in recognition of our commitment to supporting and advancing women’s careers in the life sciences (STEMM). You can read more about this initiative at

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Bonev, or via Applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.