Postdoctoral Fellow in Peptide Sequence Motifs for Targeting Pathogens

Research Position | Published on 25.05.2023 | CEITEC MU

Central European Institute of Technology of Masaryk University (CEITEC MU) 

Brno, Czech Republic | www.ceitec.eu

We are the Czech Republic’s flagship basic research institute based at Masaryk University. Our modern in-house core facilities, which provide open access to the latest technologies and expertise, currently support more than 500 researchers from over 35 countries, who are together pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the areas of structural biology, molecular medicine, genomics and proteomics of plant systems, and neuroscience.

Our postdoctoral programme will enable you to participate in one of many exciting scientific projects addressing current global issues related to health and the quality of human life. You will have the opportunity to discuss and develop ideas and train your ability to reason in a scientific manner, formulate hypotheses independently, to innovate, and to perform independent research. It is an excellent opportunity to fully develop the skills acquired throughout your PhD studies. You will have access to a professional administration supporting you with grant preparation and administration, with technology transfer, science communication and with other areas of modern research management. You will have the chance to participate in a wide range of scientific and career development events and become a valued member of our vibrant multinational scientific community.

About this position 

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) possess the ability to disrupt the membrane barrier function, effectively eliminating bacteria, viruses, and even cancer cells. Consequently, AMPs have emerged as promising candidates for the development of a new class of therapeutics. However, the majority of known AMPs exhibit toxic properties due to their origin from human-unfriendly sources, such as venoms. Furthermore, our understanding of peptide targeting mechanisms towards specific pathogens and their membranes remains limited, hindering further advancements in this field.

This ERC funded project aims to identify peptide sequence motifs that are responsible for targeting pathogens, while maintaining minimal toxicity towards human cells. In conjunction with the lipid composition of membranes, we will investigate the impact of membrane local curvature. The main tool will be Molecular dynamics simulations with free energy calculations using Gromacs program package. These simulations will be complemented by in-house experiments providing crucial verification and feedback on peptide-membrane affinity. The acquired knowledge will guide the design of de novo peptides with enhanced pathogen-targeting specificity.

Requirements

  • PhD in computational simulations and related fields
  • Theoretical knowledge of Molecular Dynamics and free energy calculations
  • Some years of work experience in simulations with proteins/membranes and their analysis
  • 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

Why join us?  

We value our employees and support them from their first day at CEITEC. We are an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering a highly collaborative, collegial, family-friendly, international working environment with relocation assistance through our Welcome Office. The selected candidate will become a valued member of the CEITEC scientific community with access to in-house core facilities and professional administrative support. Have a look at what your potential peers say about working at CEITEC MU.

Brno is a lively city surrounded by beautiful countryside. It is a top destination for many educated expatriates working in science and technology. Brno is located in the heart of Europe and offers an excellent standard of living.

We are offering:

  • Team environment of excellent scientists
  • In house core facilities
  • Background of a recognized and successful institution with supportive and international working environment
  • Environment promoting interdisciplinarity research
  • Support of administrative departments (including grant office service)
  • Support with the relocation process (welcome office service)
  • An attractive salary and benefits package
  • 6 weeks of paid holiday

CEITEC MU is a proud holder of the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. 

What else you need to know

Anticipated start date: Negotiable

Application including CV, a brief motivation letter and contacts for referees should be sent by e-application available on https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/76253.

In case of any questions about job offer, please contact: Robert Vácha (robert.vacha@ceitec.muni.cz).

In case of any troubles with filling the e-application, please contact: Petra Obselova (Petra.Obselova@ceitec.muni.cz).

Electronic application deadline is 30 June 2024. 

Candidates will be invited for interviews on an ongoing basis.

Selection procedure committee members are: the head of the research group and a representative of the HR department.

For more information about the recruitment process, refer to CEITEC MU Recruitment Policy.  

For more information about our career system, refer to CEITEC MU Career System.

In justified cases, the job announcer can extend, interrupt or cancel the selection procedure. 

Start date: negotiable
Opened Until: 30.6.2024

I am interested