Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University, UK

We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Associate to establish a reporter based assay for assessing developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) in the nematode C. elegans and the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. These two non-vertebrate eukaryotes have well studied developmental processes and well characterized markers for cell types and molecular pathways. Combining information from both systems will be used to predict DART in mammals, with the aim of replacing animal testing currently required for all chemicals released into the environment.

Applicants should possess, or be in the process of completing, a PhD or equivalent in a relevant subject. Experience in functional analysis of developmental processes in either Dictyostelium or C. elegans is essential. The appointee will also be expected to demonstrate a good track record in research illustrated through relevant first author publications in high impact journals. Candidates must possess good communication skills and illustrate they are able to work collaboratively within a team towards shared aims and goals.

This full-time post is funded by NC3Rs for up to 36 months in the first instance and is based at the Department of Biochemistry, South Parks Road, Oxford.

This position is graded on the University’s Grade 7 scale, for which the salary range is £30,434 - £37,394 per annum. The actual starting salary offered will be based on qualifications and relevant skills acquired and will also be determined by the funding available.

For further general information, phone (01865) 613204, quoting reference number (144844).

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. Click here for further details, including the job description and selection criteria.

The closing date for applications is midday on Wednesday, 24th September 2014, with interviews for shortlisted candidates as soon as possible thereafter.

The University of Oxford is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and holds an institutional Bronze Athena SWAN award. The Department of Biochemistry is strongly committed to equality and valuing diversity and we operate a flexible working policy for all staff. The Department holds a departmental Bronze Athena award in recognition of its efforts to introduce organisational and cultural practices that promote gender equality in SET and create a better working environment for both men and women.

(posted August 29, 2014)

Department Head of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) at Oklahoma State University (OSU)

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) at Oklahoma State University (OSU) invites applications for the position of Department Head. The position will be an 11-month appointment and at the rank of Full Professor with tenure. It will commence as early as 1 January 2015, or as negotiated, but the search will remain open until filled. We seek a dynamic leader to provide the scientific vision to foster excellence in the research and educational missions of the department.

MMG is currently in a period of growth, with two junior faculty hired in the last year, and the Department Head will oversee the recruitment of additional faculty upon arriving at OSU. Our department has 17 faculty, more than 30 graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) students, and approximately 200 undergraduate majors. It has nationally-funded research programs that cover a range of areas in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems including (1) molecular microbial ecology, (2) molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and (3) molecular microbial physiology. These programs are strengthened by excellent campus-wide core facilities. Our department offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology/Cell and Molecular Biology.

OSU is a land-grant institution with 24,000 students located in north-central Oklahoma. It boasts strong programs in agriculture and veterinary health science. OSU continues to make investments in the research infrastructure including addition of the new Henry Bellmon (Interdisciplinary) Research Building (HBRC), one third of which is dedicated to research in the biological sciences with biodiversity and biophysics themes directly related to research programs in MMG. The new Head is expected to play an active role in developing these areas and in guiding the future research direction of the department as a whole.

The ideal candidate will have a doctorate in Microbiology or related field, a nationally recognized research program, demonstrated success in obtaining extramural grant support, significant administrative experience along with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, a commitment to supporting diversity, innovative teaching, and a vision for curricular reform and organizational development that will attract and produce students highly qualified for careers in research, teaching, and other professional positions.

OSU is an AA/EEO/E-verify employer committed to diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. OSU-Stillwater is a tobacco-free campus. Qualified applicants should submit a letter of application, statement of research, teaching, and administrative philosophies, a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of 4 references that can comment on the applicant’s leadership and administrative skills to: Dr. John Gustafson, Chair, Department Head Search Committee, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, 307 LSE, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-3020. E-mail: Informal inquiries to Dean Bret S. Danilowicz of the College of Arts and Sciences are welcomed (Telephone: 405/744-5663; email: Application review will begin 1 September 2014 and will continue until the position is filled. This position is contingent upon available funding. For further information about the position, as well as descriptions of current Departmental activities and educational programs please visit

(posted August 19, 2014)

PhD studentship in Molecular Cell Biology, Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London Laboratory of Prof Robin SB Williams

Closing Date: 20 August 2014

Project title:

Identifying novel molecular mechanisms for cannabinoids in epilepsy control using a simple non-animal model system

Project description:

Epilepsy is a common and severe neurological condition affecting up to 1% of the population worldwide. Despite the development of a range of new anti-epileptic drugs around 30% of diagnosed patients continue to experience seizures. Therefore the development of new treatments for epilepsy provides a solution to a major unmet need. Recently a range of components of cannabis that lack psychoactive effects have demonstrated promising anti-epileptic activity. Surprisingly, the molecular mechanism of these components remains unclear. We have employed the simple biomedical model system, Dictyostelium, to identify unknown molecular mechanisms of a range of compounds used in epilepsy control and for other therapeutic treatments and natural products. In this PhD, we will extend the use of Dictyostelium to identify the molecular mechanism of cannabinoids in relation to epilepsy control.

The successful applicant will use Dictyostelium and other models to identify and characterize molecular mechanisms of cannabinoids involving a range of molecular cell biology techniques. The project forms part of a wider preclinical investigation and so the successful applicant will form part of, and be supported by, a wider research team based at other academic sites, and by ongoing clinical studies. Thus, the project will involve an integrated approach for the analysis of cannabinoid function in health in multiple systems. All equipment, expertise and facilities necessary for the conduct of the project have been fully funded or are already in place. Appropriate training will be given as necessary.

This will be an extremely competitive program and applications are requested from outstanding Masters graduates or undergraduate students in their final year of a degree, with background knowledge in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, or cell biology.

The project will provide a stipend of £12 593 p/a. Please note that successful applicants must have appropriate UK/EU residence eligibility. Funding is provided by our industrial partner, GW pharmaceuticals.

Some recent references:
Dictyostelium and molecular cell biology studies:
• Walker and Williams (2013) The search for better epilepsy treatments: from slime mould to coconuts. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 41(6):1625-8.
• Waheed et al (2013) Naringenin inhibits the growth of Dictyostelium and MDCK-derived cysts in a polycystin-2 (TRPP2)-dependent manner. British Journal of Pharmacology. 171(10):2659-7.
• Robery et al (2013) A novel human receptor involved in bitter tastant detection identified using the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. Journal of Cell Science, 126(23):5465-76.
• Chang et al (2012) The anti-epileptic valproic acid and other medium chain fatty acids acutely reduce phosphoinositide levels independently of inositol in Dictyostelium. Disease Models and Mechanism, 5(1):115-24.
Cannabinoids and epilepsy:
• Devinsky et al (2014) Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia, 55(6):791-802.
• Hill et al (2012) Cannabidivarin is anticonvulsant in mouse and rat. Br J Pharmacol, 167(8):1629-42.
• Jones et al (2010) Cannabidiol displays antiepileptiform and antiseizure properties in vitro and in vivo. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 332(2):569-77.

For further enquiries, please contact Prof Robin SB Williams (email) Application forms and a description of the application procedure are available at (Application). Please mark your application (under field of study) as ‘to work with Prof Robin Williams’.

(posted July 24, 2014)

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