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Post Doctoral Research Associate

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
32,236 - 39,609 a year
Posted Date
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Role Description

The Mackinder Lab is looking to recruit a highly motivated, creative and talented postdoc to perform a pivotal role on a 3-year BBSRC/NSF funded project in the Department of Biology, University of York. The project is part of a BBSRC and NSF funded collaboration titled: "Engineering an algal pyrenoid into higher plants to enhance yields" and involves the University of York, University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge and Princeton University. The work builds upon 8 years of collaboration between the lead PIs with a primary focus of engineering the algal pyrenoid into Arabidopsis to improve photosynthetic performance. The post will be up to 3 years, depending on appointment in the salary range.

Photosynthesis drives life on Earth. However, the passive diffusion of CO2 from the surrounding environment to the active site of Rubisco can be limiting for photosynthesis. To overcome this nearly all algae have evolved CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) to concentrate CO2 in the proximity of Rubisco resulting in increased photosynthetic rates. The Mackinder lab focuses on the discovery and characterization of components of the CCM in a diverse range of algae. Recent discoveries in the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Mackinder et al. 2016, PNAS 113:5958–5963; Mackinder et al. 2017, Cell 171:133-147; Freeman Rosenzweig et al. 2017, Cell 171:148-162) is paving the way for the engineering of algal based CCMs in plants, with an ultimate goal to improve photosynthetic performance and yields in crops. Within the project, you will be part of an international team conducting research to understand pyrenoid structure and function in Chlamydomonas and its engineering into plants. You will interact closely with plant engineers (University of Edinburgh) and have opportunities to visit Princeton University to develop new skills. You will have a lead role, with guidance and supervision from senior colleagues. In addition, you will assist in the identification and development of potential areas of research, the development of proposals for independent or collaborative research projects, and the writing of research papers for publication.

You will have an interest in the subject matter of the project and possess a relevant PhD in the field of molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry or a related subject. You will have experience in a range of molecular, biochemical and data analysis techniques including; cloning, protein biochemistry, confocal microscopy and complex data handling. You will have attention to detail, a commitment to performing high quality research and a collaborative ethos with a willingness to work positively and proactively with colleagues in other departments and institutions. You will have the ability to efficiently meet deadlines and have the initiative to plan research programmes. Excellent communication skills are essential and you should be keen to develop project/team leadership skills.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Luke Mackinder (telephone +44 (0)1904 328984, Further information about the Mackinder Lab is available at: For an alternative contact, please email

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