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Research Associate

University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom

C. difficile is the most frequent cause of hospital acquired infection across Europe. This highly antibiotic resistant pathogen relies on antibiotic-mediated disruption of the gut microbiota in order to cause disease. There is an urgent clinical need for species-specific antimicrobials that kill C. difficile without further disruption to the gut microbiota. Avidocin-CDs are a promising new type of precision antimicrobial based on naturally occurring phage tail-like particles that efficiently kill C. difficile without collateral damage to the microbiota. The C. difficile cell is coated by a crystalline protein surface layer (S-layer) that mediates contact between the bacterium and its host and environment. This essential surface structure is the bacterial receptor for Avidocin-CDs. With the tools that we have developed over the last few years we are now in a unique position to study the structure of the S-layer, both alone and in complex with a prototypic Avidocin-CD.

The successful candidate will join our multi-disciplinary BBSRC-funded collaborative project. The ideal candidate for this post will have a PhD in molecular bioscience (or equivalent experience) and extensive experience of structural biology, ideally including cryo-electron microscopy.

You can view the supporting documentation by clicking on About the Job and About the University located near the top of your screen.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
 Carry out the research, design and execute experiments required to meet the aims of the project: including electron microscopy, tomography, image analysis, genetic manipulation of E. coli and C. difficile, and in vitro analysis of protein function and protein-protein interactions.
 Write documents associated with the project including research publications, interim reports and grant applications.
 Prepare and present material in conferences and research seminars.
 Work as part of a team directed by the academics.
 Assist in the supervision of PhD, masters and undergraduate students.
 Plan and manage own research to ensure that project milestones and objectives are met on time, whilst developing new lines of enquiry.
 Keep appropriate, accurate and detailed records of all work carried out.
 Maintain existing collaborations, including with external industrial partners, and develop new interactions both within the University of Sheffield and with external groups.
 Read academic papers, journals and textbooks to keep abreast of new developments.
 If given a particular hypothesis to examine, plan for own contribution up to 3 months ahead, incorporating issues such as the availability of resources, deadlines, project milestones and overall research aims.
 Continuously monitor and check data and results. The unpredictability of research means that daily planning need to accommodate new developments.
 Carry out administrative roles as required.
 Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.

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