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PDRA in structural biology of insect insulin receptor

33,309 - 40,927 a year
Grade 6
Contract status
Fixed term
Hours of work
Full-time (flexibility available)
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Posted Date
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Job Reference

Role Description


Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on the structure-function and signal transduction of insect (Drosophila melanogaster) insulin receptor (dmIR). The work is funded by a BBSRC grant to York for up to three years.  You will be supervised by Professor A. Marek Brzozowski and will work in the York Structural Biology Laboratory within the Department of Chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful departments at York and we are renowned internationally for our research. As a department, we strive to provide a working environment that allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.


You will conduct research on insulin receptor signalling in insect (Dm) system that is highly homologous to Tyrosine-Kinase-receptor based human insulin hormonal regulatory pathway. Key responsibilities will include:

  • Production of dmIR and its mutants in baculovirus system
  • Biochemical characterisation of the dmIR and its complexes with insulins and intra-cellular effectors
  • Optimisation of formulations of lipids for the stability and functionality of the dmIR
  • Determination of the 3-D structure of the dmIR and its complexes by cryoEM
  • Validation of the structural results by contributing to the generation of transgenic Dm flies with mutations in the key interfaces identified in the dmIR complexes
  • Interfacing with the Department of Biology Dr Sweeney’s group on the transgenic Dm work
  • Interfacing with the York Structural Biology cryoEM infrastructure group
  • Analysis of the cryoEM structures of dmIR complexes / refinement / deposition
  • To keep up-to-date, in a pro-active manner, with scientific literature in the field of insulin signalling and physiology in the human and Dm systems

Skills, Experience & Qualifications needed

  • A first degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology or Natural Sciences
  • A PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology/Biophysics or related area
  • Knowledge and experience of undertaking high quality research into biophysical and biochemical protein characterisation (ITC, PAGE, protein chromatography techniques)
  • Knowledge of baculovirus system protein production and experience of cloning and gene expression for protein purification
  • Knowledge of lipid systems for work with membrane proteins
  • Experience of structural biology including knowledge of cryo-EM, skilled in the analysis and preparation of samples for cryo-EM, data acquisition, processing, model building and refinement
  • Skill in culturing insect cells with aseptic technique
  • Well-developed computational, analytical and advanced lab bookkeeping skills
  • Enthusiasm for structural work on complex proteins, structural endocrinology, 3-D structure, cryo-EM, protein hormones
  • Flexibility in working on an interdisciplinary research project

Interview date: TBC

For informal enquiries: please contact Prof Marek Brzozowski on

The Department of Chemistry values all employees for the qualities and skills they bring to the workplace and aims to be a diverse and egalitarian community in which all can thrive.

The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

Athena Gold 2017 



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