POSTDOC position in DESIGN OF PEPTIDE KILLERS OF BACTERIA

Research Position | Published on 15.04.2020 | CEITEC MU

Description of project

The cellular interior is separated from an external environment by a selectively-permeable cytoplasmic membrane. Interactions with antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) can disrupt the membrane barrier function. AMPs are part of the host-defense system of many organisms and promising candidates to become a new class of therapeutics to prevent the forecast of 10 million deaths per year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 2050. The aim of this project is to design new peptides that selectively target and disrupt the membranes of pathogens but not those of human cells. To obtain such peptides, we will develop a novel coarse-grained model of membranes, which will enable us to establish the relationship between peptide sequence motifs and their affinity to membranes with specific lipid compositions. Moreover, free energy calculations will be used to identify the critical peptide features required for membrane disruption. The project will be complemented by experiments providing verification and feedback for peptide-membrane affinity and disruption. The successful candidates will be evaluated for antimicrobial activity and human cell toxicity. These findings could be utilized in the design of new pharmacologically-relevant peptide therapeutics or as sensors and biomarkers.

 

Requirements:

  • PhD in computational physics/biophysics/chemistry and related fields
  • Theoretical knowledge of Molecular Dynamics and Free Energy Calculations
  • Some years of work experience in simulations with protein-membrane systems
  • Published in impactful journals in the field, corresponding to given stage of career demonstrating creativity and scientific quality
  • Good English language – spoken and written
  • Motivated person with collaborative mind set

 

We offer:

  • Interesting position in a dynamically expanding research institute
  • Competitive salary and benefits package
  • Background of a recognized and successful institution with supportive and international working environment
  • Environment promoting interdisciplinarity of research
  • In house core facilities
  • Support of administrative departments (including grant office service)
  • Support with the relocation process (welcome office service)
  • 6 weeks of paid holiday

 

Anticipated start date: Negotiable

 

Applications including CV, contacts for referees and a brief motivation letter should be sent by e-mail to robert.vacha@mail.muni.cz. Please quote the “Postdoc - peptide killers” in the subject.

 

Institute

CEITEC is a scientific centre in the fields of life sciences, advanced materials and technologies whose aim is to establish itself as a recognized centre for basic as well as applied research. CEITEC offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure and great conditions to employ excellent researchers. Our institute values diversity and promotes an inclusive working environment with the aim to support the best scientists. CEITEC MU is a proud holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award by the European Commission. (http://muni.ceitec.cz/en/hr-strategy-hrs4r/)

 

A postdoc position is available in the Robert Vácha lab (vacha.ceitec.cz; CEITEC, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic). We are seeking a person with expertise in computer simulations of proteins and membranes and experience with free energy calculations. Research will be conducted at CEITEC located in the life science campus of Masaryk University (Brno, Bohunice, https://www.ceitec.eu/).

 

Information about Brno, Czech Republic

  • The capital of South Moravian Region and the second largest city in the Czech Republic with a population of almost 400,000 people
  • Modern, dynamic and fast growing centre of industry, trade, science, research and innovation with business incubators and centres of excellence in science
  • A city of universities with more than 86,000 students
  • More than 10,000 researchers; 2,200 IF publications/year; 600+ PhD graduates/year,
  • 500 mil. EUR of R&D investment per year, more than 350 companies with in-house R&D,
  • City of Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics; the prestigious Mendel Lectures series takes place in Brno since 2003 (lectures of the world´s top scientists, including Nobel Prize winners),
  • Top score in Quality of life index in 2020

For further information about:

 

Start date: negotiable
Opened Until: 30.6.2020

I am interested
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