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Postdoctoral Research Associate (Chemical Glycobiology)

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,604 - 38,832 Per year
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Role Description


A fixed term postdoctoral appointment is available, for 36 months, in the York Structural Biology Laboratory, part of the Department of Chemistry, to work in the group of Professor Gideon Davies, FRS on a BBSRC-Funded project on the application of activity-based probes and structural biology to study glycosidase enzymes and their discovery for biotechnology. (A second related position Ref 6095, is also available on this grant with a focus on mammalian glycosidases and human health)

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful academic departments at York. The Department was placed in the top ten UK universities for Research Power by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF).  As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.

The University of York is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities. The recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed the position of the University among the leading institutions in the UK for research. The proportion of research activity of world-leading, 4* status is among the highest of any UK university, and York is rated tenth out of 155 higher education institutions for the impact of its research.


To conduct research on activity-based probes, of exo- and endo- glycosidases, under the supervision of senior colleagues. You will focus on the application and analysis of activity-based probes for glycosidase enzyme discovery in the biotechnological arena. You will probe fungal secretomes, industrial and laboratory samples to uncover (gels, proteomics, pulldowns) new glycosidase enzymes with useful properties. To assist in the identification and development of potential areas of research and the development of proposals for independent or collaborative research projects. You will study individual enzymes by x-ray crystallography, enzyme kinetics and product analyses under diverse conditions. You may also analyse inhibitor and probe binding through structural biology.  You will work closely with teams in Leiden and Marseille to help coordinate joint publications.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

You are expected to have a first degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Chemistry or a related discipline and an appropriate PhD in Enzymology, Cell Biology, Structural Biology, or equivalent experience.  You will have a significant experience of gene cloning and protein production, and enzyme analysis.  You will have a good knowledge of modern chemical biology and glycobiology and be willing to perform structural analyses of enzyme-ligand complexes. Ideally, you will be conversant with fungal systems.  You will need to be self-motivated with a strong work ethic, but also willing to work as part of a research team. You will need to have a passion for the scientific literature and for communicating your own science through publication.

You will also have:

  • Highly developed communication skills including competency to make presentations at conferences
  • Ability and experience of developing research projects and objectives, conducting research projects and working in a harmonious team

The post is fixed-term for an initial period of 36 months, with the possibility of extension, and will be available from 8th January 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Salary from £31,604 - £38,832 on grade 6 of the University’s salary scales.

Informal enquiries may be made to Prof Gideon Davies (

Closing date:    15 November 2017

Vacancy reference: 6096

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.



Athena Swan Gold



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York is one of the most successful universities in the UK.

With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences to the humanities, we have been recognised as one of the top 100 universities in the world, gaining outstanding results in official assessments of our research and teaching.