College of Life and Environmental Sciences; Living Systems Institute
The College wishes to recruit either a Postdoctoral Research Associate or a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to support the work of Professor Neil Gow. This full-time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis until the 31st of March 2022.
Microbial organisms, including bacteria and fungi, normally live in mixed communities whose members interact co-operatively or competitively by a variety of mechanisms. The Type VI secretion system (T6SS) is used by many Gram-negative bacteria to deliver toxic effector proteins into rival bacterial cells as a means of interbacterial competition.
We recently discovered that the T6SS can also be used as a potent weapon against fungal competitors and identified the first fungal-specific T6SS effector proteins, which cause fungal cell death via distinct mechanisms.
This Wellcome funded Collaborative Award under the leadership of Dr Sarah Coulthurst at the University of Dundee proposes that T6SS-mediated anti-fungal activity is widespread, mediated by a variety of effector proteins and able to shape diverse polymicrobial communities, including those important for human health and disease. In this project, we have assembled an expert, multi-disciplinary team to investigate the nature, role and molecular basis of T6SS-mediated anti-fungal activity. Our general aims are to:
Examine the distribution and significance of T6SS-mediated anti-fungal activity
Understand the interaction between the fungal cell and the bacterial T6SS
Define the mode of action of T6SS-delivered anti-fungal effectors
This project in the Gow lab [http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/staff/profile/index.php?web_id=Professor_Neil_Gow] will elucidate the chemical and physical requirements for successful T6SS-mediated translocation of effectors into a fungal cell, considering adherence of T6SS-wielding bacteria to the fungal cell wall and how the T6SS is able to cross this formidable barrier.
Our findings will illuminate the fundamental mechanism and biological relevance of T6SS-mediated anti-fungal activity, whilst paving the way for potential future anti-fungal therapeutic developments.
Reference: Trunk, K., Peltier, J., Liu, Y-C, Dill, B.D., Walker, L., Gow, N.A.R., Stark, M.J.R., Quinn, J, Strahl, H., Trost, M. & Coulthurst, S.J. (2018) The Type VI secretion system deploys anti-fungal effectors against microbial competitors. Nature Microbiology 3, 920–931. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-018-0191-x.
About the role
You are a microbiologist experienced in fungal or bacterial genetics and have an awareness or experience working with microbial cell walls. You may experience with developing protein biochemistry, fungal molecular biology, gene knock-out technology, transmission electron microscopy. You are excited about working as part of a multi-disciplinary team composed of phycisists, engineers, and biologists. You will work in Prof Gow’s laboratory and at the newly refurbished MRC Centre for Medical Mycology [https://www.exeter.ac.uk/medicalmycology/] which provides world leading state-of-the-art research facilities and expertise based in the Geoffrey Pope building on the Streatham campus of the University of Exeter.
Requirements for the role
Experience with microbial biochemistry and molecular biology, and physiology. Experience with electron microscopy and other imaging techniques and microfluidics, fungal or bacterial molecular biology and genetics would be an advantage. You will also have a strong publication record and ability to write research papers.
Duties are to undertake research and fulfil other main duties and accountabilities associated with the position. You will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.
For Postdoctoral Research Associate candidates:
Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion) or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. Applicants will possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop/follow research programmes and methodologies
For Postdoctoral Research Fellow candidates:
Applicants will possess a PhD in microbiology, molecular biology or a related discipline and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised in medical mycology, microbiology, microbial imaging, fungal and/or bacterial genetics and will be able to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required.
Please make it clear in your application which post you wish to be considered for.
We offer some fantastic benefits including:
41 days leave per year
Options for flexible working
Numerous discounts at leading retailers
Onsite gyms on all of our campus’ and a cycle to work scheme
Sector leading policies around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), paternity leave (up to six weeks full pay) and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
Stunning campus environments in Exeter and Cornwall, in the beautiful South West of England
For further information, please contact Neil Gow, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone (01392) 723006 via my PA Sarah Warren.
The closing date for applications is 12 Midnight, Sunday 29th March 2020. Interviews are expected to take place in late July.
The College is working towards department Silver Athena SWAN awards as a commitment to providing equality of opportunity and advancing the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer. We are officially recognised as a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.