Job Number

BU02519

School/Department

School of Natural Sciences

Grade

8

Contract Duration

12 months

Responsible to

Professor in Biology (Biotechnology)

Overview

The School of Natural Sciences (SNS) is the part of the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Bangor University, which is one of the leading centres in the UK for teaching and research in an extensive range of science subjects. We aim to educate and train a new generation of scientists aware of societal and environmental needs in a world-class research-led environment. Core research interests of SNS include molecular ecology and evolution, cell and genome science, environmental microbiology and biotechnology, plant and soil science. 

The Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) project sits within the School of Natural Sciences.

The Project

The post holder will become a key member of the project ‘CEB – The Centre for Environmental Biotechnology’, a £7.8 M research capacity building Project from the European Regional Development Fund/Welsh European Funding Office co-funded by Bangor University (Case ID 81280). The Project runs for five years since November 2017 and invested into the bioanalytical facility, technical and research staff to operate single-cell imaging and manipulation instrumentation, liquid handling robotics for high throughput cloning and expression of proteins, protein expression and purification workstations, small-to-microscale bioreactors and a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facility with nanoLC – high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) MS, LC- HRAM MS with ion mobility spectrometry and triple quadrupole LC-MS for targeted metabolomics. The Project is directed by Prof Peter Golyshin and focuses on biotechnological application of enzymes and metabolites from extremophilic microorganisms. The successful candidate will be working side-by-side with staff active in Enzyme Discovery research (Profs Alexander Yakunin and Peter Golyshin), Microbiology of Extremophiles (Dr Olga Golyshina) and Soil Microbiology (Prof Davey Jones). 

Purpose of the Job

The post is part of an established team working in the area of extremophilic microbiology and enzyme discovery at CEB. The post holder will be responsible for planning, conducting, analysing and publishing experimental studies in relevant research areas.

The research outcomes will include enhanced grant capture and high quality peer-reviewed publications in leading scientific journals.

The post will also facilitate the use of highly specialised CEB equipment by academic staff of Bangor University to enhance overall grant income and improving research outputs of core CEB staff.

The successful applicant will carry out the work under the guidance of the Director of the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB, Enzyme Discovery group). CEB is the ERDF-Welsh Assembly Government co-funded facility directed by Professor Peter Golyshin. The successful applicant will be taking joint responsibility with the CEB Director and project leaders for key aspects within the CEB programme and research projects. This will include taking a lead in the identification of novel enzyme targets and enzyme applications.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leading the identification of novel enzyme targets and enzyme applications.
  • Planning, prioritising and organising the research and resources of enzyme discovery projects at CEB.
  • Taking overall responsibility for the running and maintenance of enzyme research infrastructure and reporting progress to the CEB Director and project leaders.
  • Biochemical characterisation of novel enzymes (polyesterases, polyphosphate kinases, laccases, prenyltransferases).
  • Conducting different enzyme assays under anaerobic and aerobic conditions.
  • Identification and quantitation of enzyme reaction products using various approaches (HPLC, spectrophotometry, mass spectrometry).
  • Providing training for CEB students and staff in functional enzyme characterisation.
  • Optimisation of recombinant protein expression and purification using anaerobic and aerobic protocols.
  • Biocatalytic substrate transformations using purified enzymes and E. coli cells.
  • Proactively supporting Profs Golyshin, Jones, Yakunin and Dr Golyshina in developing new enzyme screening approaches using metagenome gene libraries and purified proteins. 
  • Method development for novel enzyme assays.
  • Structural analysis of novel enzymes using crystal structures and structural models (ligand docking, channel analysis).
  • Bioinformatic analysis of protein families and sequences (phylogenetic analysis, ancestral reconstruction).
  • Delivering research outcomes. Contributing to the dissemination of research outputs through scientific publications, conferences and social media, participating and presenting in CEB seminar series, disseminating results to industry, delivering quaternary updates on work progress, collaborating with CEB researchers, writing up the scientific results for publication in peer-review journals, discussing and sharing results with grant holders.
  • Administration responsibilities: participating in project meetings, taking lead in specific tasks.
  • Assist in supervision of undergraduate, Research Masters and PhD students, establish collaborative groups, drafting grant applications for external funding.
  • Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.
  • Person Specification

    Qualifications/Training

    Essential

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in biochemistry or organic chemistry.
  • Experience/Knowledge

    Essential

  • A strong background in enzymology and experience with a broad range of enzymes (oxidoreductases, transferases, and hydrolases).
  • Expertise in recombinant protein expression and chromatographic purification under anaerobic and aerobic conditions.
  • Expertise in developing and application of enzyme screens and assays under anaerobic and aerobic conditions.
  • Broad experience in enzyme product analysis and identification using HPLC and mass spectrometry.
  • Experience of structural analysis of enzymes and protein engineering.
  • Experience in preparing research papers for publication, reports, grant and patent applications.
  • Experience in collaboration with external academic and industrial partners.
  • Experience in managing research teams.
  • Desirable

  • Experience in supervising graduate students and junior researchers.
  • Experience in collecting experimental data and maintaining data records (ensuring confidentiality, data security and backup).
  • Good organisational skills in the context of conducting projects to a specified timetable.
  • Skills/Abilities

    Essential

  • Excellent verbal and written skills in English.
  • Able to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to analyse enzyme kinetics data and present results appropriately.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prioritise work load and work to deadlines.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area.
  • Desirable

  • Proven project management skills.
  • Excellent computer skills, including bioinformatics tools and software for protein analysis and enzyme kinetics (Geneious, FastTree, Autodock, CaverWeb).
  • General

    The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We strive to develop a workforce from all sections of the community regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. We promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language through our progressive Welsh Language Policy. We comply with the Welsh Language Standards and are committed to equality of opportunity. You are welcome to apply for any job in English or Welsh and all applications submitted will be treated equally. 

    We are a member of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Gender Equality charter and hold a Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to and progress towards gender equality within the University’s policies, practices, and culture. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer. 

    All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact. 

    All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.

    All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements *** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements:

    Please note that we are unable to employ anyone who does not have the right to live and work in the UK legally. When applying for this post you will be required to explain the basis upon which you believe you will be able to live and work in the UK legally on the commencement date of the role should your application be successful.

    Candidates should also note that they may be required to apply for an ATAS certificate (Academic Approval Technology Scheme) from the Counter-Proliferation and Arms Control Centre of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office before being able to apply for a visa –

    Please note that, in the event of applications being received from candidates on the University’s Redeployment Register with a reasonable skills match to the post specification, these applicants will be given prior consideration. In addition to those on the Redeployment Register, staff members who have been directly affected by the current restructuring exercise will also be given prior consideration.

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