NOW HIRING - Post-doctoral and Research Technician positions  

Two positions are available to join a laboratory developing novel oligonucleotide antimicrobials, termed Transcription Factor Decoys (TFDs). These are short stretches of synthetic DNA designed to specifically block bacterial transcription to rapidly kill cells. Oligonucleotide delivery to the bacterial cytoplasm is achieved by combination with proprietary lipids that selectively cross bacterial membranes. Formulations of TFDs are being developed as candidates for new drugs to enter preclinical development. Given the platform nature of the technology the ambition is to rapidly identify a number of new agents to counter the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance

 

The posts are funded by Procarta Biosystems Ltd, a UK biopharmaceutical company, in a research partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA). The work will be carried out at the Bob Champion Research & Education Building on the Norwich Research Park with specialist tasks outsourced to Contract Research Organisations (CROs). The contracts are for a fixed period with the possibility/expectation of contract extension.

 

The postdoctoral position would be expected to lead the programme to select a lead candidate for preclinical development or investigate the mechanism of action of this new type of antimicrobial. The first of these involves use of  standard methods of molecular biology and chemistry to create analogues of TFDs to identify optimised structures in an iterative process, with biophysical and microbiological analysis performed at UEA, and specialist analysis (PK/PD, toxicity, efficacy etc.) outsourced to CROs. The programme to investigate mechanism of would use microbiological and biophysical techniques to understand how the oligonucleotide TFDs penetrate the bacteria, to target the intended transcription factor and analyse the consequences of its inhibition using a systems biology approach.

 

Within the laboratory there are three specific tasks the research technician will contribute to: 1) molecular biological techniques to identify new targets in bacterial pathogens, 2) optimisation of the antimicrobial to select candidates for preclinical development and 3) multi-disciplinary investigation of the mechanism of action of the antimicrobial. Essential skills include molecular biological (transcriptomics, cloning and oligonucleotide analysis) and microbiological (MIC assays, cloning) techniques. Desirable skills would be drawn from knowledge of bioanalytical techniques (FPLC, MS), experience with systems biology (proteomics, metabolomics), database curation.

 

For more information contact the CSO, Prof. Michael McArthur: mmcarthur@procartabio.com



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