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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein Science

Postdoctoral position in characterization of CD109’s structure and interactions

Deadline 25 Oct 23:59 CEST

Expected start 1 Feb

  • Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein Science Universitetsbyen 81 8000 Aarhus C

  • Fixed term full-time position 1 Feb 2023 - 31 Jan 2025 ID: 10060

Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoc researcher position at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. The project focuses on the determination of CD109’s structure using cryo-electron microscopy and the characterization of its interactions with TGFβ network proteins.
Expected start date and duration of employment
The position will be available for 2 years. The starting date is 1st of February 2023 or as soon as possible.

Job description
CD109 is a GPI-anchored cell surface protein that modulates TGFβ signaling through direct interactions with TGFβ cytokines and the type I receptor TβRI. As a member of the α-macroglobulin protein family, which also includes complement factor C3 and human alpha-2-macroglobulin, CD109 has a complex multi-domain structure and can exist in multiple conformations.

We have established the production of recombinant soluble CD109 in mammalian cells, as well as methods to induce its different conformations. This project will therefore be able to focus on the structural determination of CD109 by cryo-electron microscopy. The recombinant CD109 will also be used for binding studies with CD109’s interaction partners, as well as the identification of new interaction partners e.g. by pull-down studies.

There will be considerable room for the candidate to shape the project within the overall project theme.

The project will mainly involve structural biology and experimental biochemistry.
Your profile
The candidate is expected to have (or be close to finishing) a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, biology, biotechnology, nanoscience, or similar.

Prior experience with protein biochemistry and structural biology is an absolute requirement and must be documented through multiple publications in well-recognized scientific journals.

Prior experience with cryo-electron microscopy is preferred, but not strictly necessary, as training can be provided. Experience with the Linux operating system is also preferable.

Finally, we expect you to be ambitious, to have strong collaborative skills and to be able to take initiatives and responsibility within the work environment

Who we are
This project will take place jointly in two groups at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of Aarhus University. The first group is led by Professor Jan J. Enghild, who specializes in the biochemistry of ECM proteins, proteases, and protease inhibitors, including α-macroglobulin protease inhibitors. The second group is led by Professor Gregers Rom Andersen, who focuses on structural biology by crystallography and cryo-EM, especially of α-macroglobulin complement factors and complement complexes. More information on our groups can be found on our group websites http://www.enghild-lab.dk/ and http://www.bioxray.au.dk/~gra/index.html

The post-doc researcher will be affiliated with the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University. The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics is part of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and comprises research within the areas of Plant Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, RNA Biology, and Innovation, Protein Science, Cellular Health, Intervention, and Nutrition. There are currently 75 full-time scientific staff and 95 Ph.D. students. The department is responsible for two educations: Molecular Biology and Molecular Medicine, with a yearly uptake of 160 students in total. Please refer to https://mbg.au.dk/  for further information about The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and to https://nat.au.dk/  and https://www.au.dk/   for information on the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Aarhus University, respectively

What we offer
The successful candidate is offered:
  • Direct access to laboratory facilities with everything required for protein expression (in bacteria and eukaryotic systems), purification (with state-of-the-art ÄKTA FPLC), and biochemical characterization (amino acid analysis, Edman sequencing, mass photometry, SPR, ITC).
  • Access to two 300 kV Titan Krios microscopes with Gatan K2 and K3 detectors for screening and data collection. There is also access to negative stain EM for sample optimization on a 120 kV Technai microscope. Vitrobot and Leica blotting devices are available for preparation of grids.
  • In house high performance computing cluster dedicated to cryo-EM data processing.
  • Direct access to high-end mass spectrometry equipment, including an Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid and a Q Exactive Plus Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap, both with online EASY-nLC 1200.
  • Colleagues who value support and collaboration.
  • A workplace characterized by equality, respectfulness, and a healthy work-life balance.
Place of work and area of employment
The place of work is Universitetsbyen 81, 8000 Aarhus C, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. 
The city of Aarhus
In Aarhus you have easy access to beautiful nature, an exciting culture and city life as well as a safe environment for children - a great place for the whole family. The city of Aarhus has everything you need within a surprisingly small area: exciting national and international jobs, delightful residential areas, a rich cultural life, and beautiful surrounding landscape of woods and coastline that make Aarhus a wonderful place to live and work. See “life in Denmark” at Aarhus and surroundings (au.dk) for further details on the city and the university

Contact information
For further information, please contact: Professor Jan J. Enghild (jje@mbg.au.dk).

Applications must be received no later than 25th October 2022.


Application procedure

Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Natural Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Questions about the position?

Jan J. Enghild

Jan J. Enghild Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein Science jje@mbg.au.dk

Questions about application and proces?

Nat-Tech Administrative Centre - Nat-Tech HR +4593521026 nat-tech.HR.team1@au.dk


Deadline: Tuesday 25 Oct 2022 at 23:59 CEST