postdoctoral position available

Prof. Per A. Bullough P.Bullough at
Fri Apr 19 05:50:05 PDT 2002

Postdoctoral Position in CryoEM of Bacterial Toxins

Krebs Institute

University of Sheffield

The BBSRC-funded post, is available for up to 2.5 years in the first
instance. The project is to investigate the function and assembly of a
pore-forming toxin in membranes using cryoEM. The successful candidate will
work closely with X-ray crystallographers and molecular biologists.
Experience in electron microscopy of biological molecules and image analysis
is desirable but training can be provided. The level of appointment is

Our recent structure determination of the E. coli toxin haemolysin E (HlyE)
has revealed the architecture of the solution form of a novel family of
pore-forming toxins, and preliminary electron microscopy studies have given
insights into the arrangement of the transmembrane pores, leading us to
propose a novel mode of protein:membrane interaction  (Wallace et al (2000)
Cell 100: 265-276). This initial structural work has raised further
intriguing questions relating to the function and assembly of this toxin
complex in the membrane, with wide implications for other membrane proteins.
We aim to further probe aspects of the structure of HlyE in solution and in
the membrane pore using a combination of biochemistry, X-ray crystallography
and electron cryo-microscopy (EM).

This post is funded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences
Research Council for up to 2.5 years in the first instance. The successful
candidate will join a collaborative project involving applications of cryoEM
in the laboratory of Prof. Per Bullough, X-ray crystallography in the
laboratory of Prof. Peter Artymiuk and molecular biology and protein
biochemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Jeff Green.

For informal enquiries please contact Prof. Per Bullough
(p.bullough at


The University of Sheffield

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

The Department has over 40 academic staff, nearly 200 postdoctoral
researchers and graduate students. The Department is housed in excellent
accommodation in the main University building dating from the turn of the
century adjacent to parkland but within a few minutes of the city centre.

Research funding (external) currently totals £26 million. A further £24
million has recently been awarded through the JIF institutive for major
enhancement of laboratory facilities. The research activities of the
Department are organised into four interactive groups of workers:

The Krebs Institute links the Department with the Departments of Chemistry,
Information Studies and Biomedical Science. The Institute is a BBSRC
Molecular Recognition Centre and a member of the BBSRC-funded Northern
Structural Biology Centre giving us strong research links with the
Universities of Leeds, Manchester and UMIST. Major research interests
include X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, electron cryomicroscopy,
structural databases, enzymology and protein chemistry, molecular
immunology, bioenergetics, molecular genetics and electrophysiology. The
Institute has excellent centralised facilities for handling glassware,
large-scale fermentations, protein sequencing, and peptide and
oligonucleotide synthesis. The Institute has outstanding facilities for
structural work with a very high resolution Philips 200 kV field emission
electron microscope equipped for cryomicroscopy and with CCD camera (plus a
number of 100 kV microscopes), a high resolution Zeiss film scanner and
powerful computing and graphics for EM image analysis, X-ray data analysis
and NMR data analysis, Rigaku X-ray generator with MAR Image Plate detectors
and Oxford cryosystem (the synchrotron source at Daresbury is also close at
hand), dedicated facilities for 3D and 2D crystal growth and 800, 600 Mhz
and 500 MHz NMR spectrometers.

The Robert Hill Institute is a centre for photosynthesis research which
links the Department with the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.
Interests include the structural characterisation of membrane proteins with
strong collaborations with members of the structural biology group.

The Developmental Genetics Programme links the Department with the
Department of Biomedical Science. There are also strong interests in this
group in the function of membrane proteins and links are being forged with
members of the structural biology group.

The Institute of Molecular Physiology is a centre for ion channel research
and strong collaborations with the structural groups.

The City of Sheffield is conveniently situated in the centre of England. The
city has a well-deserved reputation for the friendliness of its inhabitants
and is generally regarded as an easy city to live in. It is well served by
theatres, cinemas (including an art cinema), good restaurants, pubs,
nightclubs and music to suit all tastes. The nearby cities of Leeds,
Manchester and York also have a very vibrant cultural life. The Peak
District National Park is within 10 minutes drive of the Department,
offering nearly 1500 square kilometres of spectacular and unspoilt
countryside with many interesting villages, pubs, hills and crags providing
opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, horse riding, fishing etc. The
cultural attractions of London are just 2 hours away by train. Sheffield
Airport has daily flights to Brussels and Manchester Airport can be reached
in one hour by train, providing air connections to all major European and
North American destinations. The mountains of North Wales are only two hours
drive away with the major Scottish cities and the Scottish Highlands also
close at hand.

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