University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

Project: Targeting misfolded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases for ubiquitin-mediated destruction.

The Sapkota lab within the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) is inviting applications for two postdoctoral positions to explore the targeted degradation of proteins that are misfolded in several neurodegenerative diseases. Progressive accumulation of misfolded protein aggregates is a hallmark of many age-related neurodegenerative disorders, which include Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease among others. These disorders affect millions of patients around the world and the incidences are set to increase further as the aging population rises globally. Despite our understanding of the pathogenesis and causes of many neurodegenerative diseases, conventional drug strategies have yielded no effective cures. This interdisciplinary project aims to explore how reversible ubiquitination can be harnessed in efficiently clearing several neurodegenerative misfolded proteins from neuronal cells in culture and in vivo, and understand the molecular mechanisms. The project will also entail an active collaboration with a leading pharmaceutical company.

These positions are each for 2.5 years each with a possibility of a six-month extension.

Candidate requirements:

- PhD with an outstanding track record and at least one first authored publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal.

- Strong background in cell biology, protein chemistry, ubiquitin signalling, molecular biology, and signal transduction.

- Strong background in mass spectrometry and knowledge of bioinformatic tools for MS data analysis

- Knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases is desirable.

- Capable of working in a diverse team, but able to plan and work independently.

- Excellent communication skills and proficiency in English.

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. The initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 28, £31,866).

For informal enquiries please contact Gopal Sapkota

For details on the Sapkota lab research, current and past lab members and publications please visit our websites:

The MRC-PPU is one of the world’s most renowned centres for research on protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation ( and has an exciting and collaborative research environment, equipped to the highest international standards. The major aims of the MRC-PPU are to advance understanding of the role of protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation in cell regulation and human disease; to facilitate the development of drugs to treat diseases caused by abnormalities in phosphorylation; and to generate reagents and improve technologies. Another key remit of the MRC-PPU is to train the next generation of scientists who will advance our understanding in this crucial area of medical research. The MRC-PPU is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the estuary of the River Tay and embedded within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. This is one of the premier Life Sciences research centres in the world and was recently assessed as the top UK University for Life Sciences research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

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The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.