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Research Associate in structural and chemical glycobiology of mammalian enzymes

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Full-time (flexibility available)
Contract status
Fixed term
33,309 - 40,927 per year
Posted Date
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Role Description


Applications are invited for a postdoctoral researcher to work on the activity-based proteomics and structural enzymology of enzymes involved in mammalian glycobiology and human health. The work is funded by an ERC-Synergy grant to York, Barcelona and Leiden.  You will be supervised by Professor Gideon Davies and will work in the ERC-Synergy team in the York Structural Biology Laboratory, within 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.


To conduct research in the area of activity-based probes, and other chemical biology methods, applied to the enzymes of mammalian glycobiology and human health.  The goal is to develop activity-based proteomics methods, in collaboration with Leiden and Barcelona, to target key enzyme systems involved in glycan biosynthesis and degradation. This will involve: 

  • Expression of mammalian (and viral) genes in insect and human cell systems
  • Enzyme kinetics, including enzyme inhibition kinetics and determination of substrate specificity
  • Structure solution by X-ray crystallography (CryoEM where appropriate): crystallisation, data collection and structure solution / refinement / deposition
  • Activity-based proteomics of mammalian enzymes and cellular samples
    • To keep up-to-date with scientific literature
    • To work closely with international collaborators
    • To develop and initiate collaborative working internally and externally, build contacts, participate in networks, identify opportunities for collaboration and funding, attend and contribute to relevant meetings  
    • To provide guidance to other staff and students, coordinate the work of small research teams, supervise project students in the laboratory


Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • A first degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry and a PhD in Biochemistry or related area
  • Knowledge of carbohydrate-active enzymes, including structures and mechanisms
  • Experience of enzyme kinetics, skills in enzyme specificity and inhibition analysis
  • Knowledge of modern structural biology techniques
  • Knowledge of both insect and human cell expression, skills in culturing with aseptic technique
  • Skill in protein crystallography, including ligand analysis
  • Experience of undertaking high quality research in the areas of carbohydrate active enzymes with well-developed analytical skills
  • Knowledge of work in the Davies Research group (from wider reading) and an understanding of the work of Carme Rovira in Barcelona and Hermen Overkleeft in Leiden
  • Proven ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals, make presentations, participate in public engagement events
  • Well-evidenced ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for individual and collaborative research, identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds
  • Highly developed communication skills with a positive attitude and commitment to personal development
  • Ability to work proactively with colleagues as part of a team and also independently using own initiative to plan and prioritise work to deadlines
  • Commitment to and understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion issues


Interview date: 7th December 2021

For informal enquiries: please contact Prof Gideon Davies on

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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