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Research Associate in Single-Molecule Biology and Physics

Biology and Physics
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

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented postdoc to join Prof Mark Leake’s laboratory in the Departments of Physics and Biology, University of York (see Our laboratory is interested in applying cutting-edge single-molecule biophysics and super-resolution microscopy (see to investigate how DNA shape is governed by the interplay between mechanical bending, twist, and the interaction with environmental and chemical factors. Your role is a postdoctoral research associate position funded by the Leverhulme Trust for the project “Probing the shape of DNA by twisting, pulling and ‘seeing’ single molecules” in collaboration with Prof Tony Maxwell (see and Prof Bart Hoogenboom (see In this project you will: (i) apply magnetic-optical tweezers with fluorescence imaging to manipulate and measure DNA shape of single molecules; (ii)controllably ‘tune’ DNA sequences, and generate fluorescently labelled proteins that perturb the shape of DNA;  (iii) use in-liquid AFM to image secondary structures of DNA. There may also be opportunities for you to extend uses of single-molecule tools in what is a fantastic research playground for a postdoc at the physical-life sciences interface to explore and grow.

You will conduct research under the supervision of senior colleagues and contribute to the production of research and assist in the identification and development of potential areas of research and the development of proposals for independent or collaborative research projects. You will develop and initiate collaborative working internally and externally, providing guidance to other staff and students. You will write up research results and dissemination through publications, seminar and conference presentations and public engagement and outreach activities.

You will already possess a relevant PhD in biophysics or biochemistry or a related field. You will have knowledge of single-molecule methods in biology and experience in DNA construct synthesis and protein purification. You will possess skills in application of complex biophysical apparatus, and ideally have experience of advanced light microscopy, single-molecule biophysics and scientific computation combined with a strong interest in the application of advanced biophysical tools to biological problems.  You will need to be able to work independently as well as part of the programme team working on related projects. Excellent communication skills are essential and you should be keen to develop project/team leadership skills, and to establish bridges between the physical and life sciences.

Available from June 2018, this post is full time for 36 months. This is a grade 6 post, with salary in the range of £31,604-£38,832 per year per year.

Informal email enquiries to Prof Mark Leake are strongly encouraged (email:

For further information and to apply on-line, please visit our website: Alternatively contact HR Services on 01904 324835 quoting reference number

Interviews: 29 June 2018.

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