University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The MRC wishes to appoint a postdoctoral scientist to join Professor John Walker's ATP Synthase research group in the Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge.

The post-holder will work on the structure and mechanism of the ATP synthase. The aim is to understand the molecular mechanism of the generation of rotation in the enzyme. Understanding rotation driven by the transmembrane proton-motive force is an unsolved problem dependent on defining the molecular mechanism for translocation of protons through the membrane domain of the enzyme. The work will build on our recently published 4 Å structure of a bacterial enzyme. X-ray crystallographic and cryo-electron microscopic approaches will be employed. An allied aim is to understand the generation of rotation in the opposite sense driven by the hydrolysis of ATP by X-ray crystallographic structure determination of different states in the catalytic cycle. The post-holder will work with other scientists to establish differences in the mechanisms of human and bacterial ATP synthases to provide a basis for developing new drugs against bacterial infections.

Candidates will have a PhD in a biochemistry, biophysics or molecular biology, and a track record of related research achievements. Previous experience with any or all of the following techniques would be an advantage: isolation and crystallization of membrane proteins, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy and single particle analysis.

The MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit is a world-renowned centre for research in respiratory enzymes. Additional information can be found at

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 March 2020 in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

The closing date for applications is 9th April 17. The interview date is TBC.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Please quote reference SM11636 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online