Membrane Protein Structural Studies

Understanding membrane protein function is a cornerstone for any research active University. Over 50% of current drugs target membrane proteins, and these proteins are a major target in drug design because of their roles in transport and in signal transduction. Moreover, they are being developed as biological sensors and their role in cellular energy production has made them a target for renewable energy sources. Their diverse roles in biology across different disciplines make them an exciting and fundable area of research.

Academic fit within Leeds: The University of Leeds has an excellent reputation in the field of membrane biology and ion channels. This is built upon strong foundations with the large EDICT grant making Leeds an expert in the field of membrane protein production. More recently the appointment of Professor Goldman and the £1 million upgrade of the crystallisation facilities have strengthened the area of membrane protein structure determination. We are seeking to recruit an independent fellow in order for the University to maintain and grow its reputation within the membrane protein field.

Opportunities for external funding: The field of membrane protein studies has a strong track record for grant funding form Research Councils, European research funding and charities.  This is exemplified by grants and fellowships held within the SBMS membrane biology group from BBSRC, MRC, EU, Wellcome Trust and Yorkshire agricultural society. The broad appeal for grant funding is due to the diverse role that membrane proteins play in cell homeostasis, disease, biological sensors and re-usable energy sources making them applicable to many research priority areas, (BBSRC; (i) Bioenergy: (ii) combatting antimicrobial resistance; MRC  (i) Tissue disease, (ii) Mental health, (iii) repair and replacement, EPSRC (i) Bioenergy). In addition to academic funding, the membrane biology group has strong links to industry, exemplified this year by the award of a case studentship from Neusentis, which brings together the ion channel and structural biology groups.

Fit with School/Centre strategy: The SBMS has a number of distinct research activities, with the membrane biology group being a leading player, bringing together experts in a diverse range of fields. You will play a major role in maintaining the development of this group and will develop in this fertile area of grant funding. The buoyant nature of the group and the excellent networking makes for an excellent environment for you to both develop and integrate within the group. By having active collaborations in the membrane biology group with Physics, Mathematics, Medicine and Chemistry, you will be able to produce cross discipline research of impact, a strategic goal for both the Universities central strategy and the Research Councils.

You will have a strong background in membrane protein structure determination in areas of experience such as protein overexpression in a range of systems, purification and structural biology. You will also have the ability to teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and have a clear and compelling vision for personal academic development. A proven record of achievement in international quality publications is essential to contribute to the University’s ambition to excel at REF2020. In addition, you will provide research supervision and attract research students to the University and undertake a teaching load deemed appropriate by the Head of School, which will be significantly reduced in the first years of the fellowship.

University Grade 8 (£38,511 to £45,954)

For informal enquiries about the role please contact Professor Adrian Goldman, tel: +44 (0)113 343 8537, email:

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