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Research Associate in Cyanobacterial Cell Biology

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
32,817 - 40,322 a year
Interview Date
16 September 2020
Posted Date
Apply by
Job Reference

Role Description

The Mackinder Lab is looking to recruit a highly motivated, creative and talented postdoctoral researcher to perform a lead role on a project to develop the first complete protein spatial interactome for a photosynthetic organism. The project is based in the Department of Biology, University of York. The post will be up to 3 years, with potential for extension.

The successful candidate will lead the development of a complete spatial interactome for the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942. The lab has developed an innovative pipeline to scarlessly generate fluorescence fusion proteins. We have used this pipeline to localise >10% of the proteome and are now positioned to apply the pipeline to the complete proteome. Using super-resolution microscopy, affinity purification-mass spectrometry and single-molecule imaging the tagged cyanobacterial library will enable the localisation, interactors and abundance to be determined for every protein in the cell. You will apply these approaches under varying CO2 conditions to give insights into the cyanobacterial CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) to help guide its engineering into crops. The project will be enabled through synthetic biology, robotics, microfluidics and automated imaging.

Within the project, you will be part of an international team conducting research to understand CO2 fixation in photosynthetic organisms. You will interact closely with the York Bioscience Technology Facility for imaging and mass spectrometry aspects of the project. In addition to conducting research, you will analyse research results; assist in the development of research areas and research proposals; and contribute to the writing of research papers for dissemination through publications. You may also assist with undergraduate teaching

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 multidisciplinary research that encompasses a range of molecular, cell, biochemical and data analysis techniques including; cloning, confocal microscopy and large dataset handling. You will have attention to detail, a commitment to performing high-quality research and a positive collaborative ethos. You will have demonstrated experience of seeing a project to completion through publication in a quality internationally recognised journal. You will have the ability to efficiently meet deadlines and the initiative to plan research programmes. Excellent communication skills are essential, and you should be keen to develop project/team leadership skills.

The Mackinder lab ( focuses on the development of high-throughput approaches in diverse phototrophs (Mackinder et al. 2017, Cell 171:133-147; Emrich Mills et al. BioRxiv and uses these datasets to give novel insights into how CO2-concentrating mechanisms operate (Mackinder et al. 2016, PNAS 113:5958–5963; Freeman Rosenzweig et al. 2017, Cell 171:148-162; Mukherjee et al. 2019 PNAS 116:16915–20). The labs main research goals are to rapidly advance our molecular understanding of how photosynthetic microbes drive ~50% of global CO2 fixation and use this knowledge to guide photosynthetic engineering to improve crop yields and guide enhanced biological based CO2 capture systems.

Contact Luke Mackinder for informal enquiries (, or alternatively email

Interview date: Provisionally 16 September 2020

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