Research Fellow in Structural Mass Spectrometry

University of Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom

Job posting number: #7181371 (Ref:FBSAS1068)

Posted: September 22, 2023

Job Description

Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have an established background in structural mass spectrometry? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities, in the world renowned Astbury Centre?

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented individual interested in undertaking an exciting 2-year postdoctoral project in the laboratory of Professor Frank Sobott (Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry). You will make leading contributions to an EU Horizon-funded project (with Innovate UK guarantee funding), as well as having the opportunity to develop an own research profile by pioneering structural mass spectrometry approaches for fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD).  

The project is part of a prestigious, 9.7 MЄ European collaboration on establishing innovative and efficient methods for FBDD, which is a widely used approach in the biopharma industry for developing small molecule lead structures into effective protein and oligonucleotide ligands (drugs). The project includes leading groups representing key structural techniques such as x-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryo-EM as well as machine learning (AI). Structural mass spectrometry efforts are led by Leeds in close collaboration with a partner in Lisbon (Portugal). Academic and industrial partners include Instruct-ERIC, EMBL, Diamond Light Source, ESRF Grenoble, EU-OPENSCREEN and others in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Latvia and Switzerland.

You will work on well-established pharmaceutical targets such as SARS-Covid proteins and oligonucleotides with small libraries of medium affinity ligands available via the project partners. You will develop MS-based binding assays based on native MS, ion mobility and HDX-MS to study relative binding strength, cooperativity, and conformational and allosteric effects of the ligands. This work can then be expanded towards modulators of biomolecular interactions, e.g. in the direction of Targeted Protein Degradation. With a strong focus on method development, this project would suit a mass spectrometrist who wants to extend their repertoire in a very active research field with high current demand both in academia and industry. There is also extensive opportunity for collaboration with experts in other biostructural and computational methods, and for individual career development.

For this role, you should have a PhD (or close to completion) in Biophysics, Chemistry, Structural Biology, Biochemistry or a related discipline with hands-on experience in structural mass spectrometry (particularly native MS and/or HDX-MS are desirable).

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 


Prof Frank Sobott, Chair in Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry

Email: [email protected]


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Biological Sciences
School/Institute:  School of Molecular & Cellular Biology / Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £37,099 to £44,263 per annum
Working Time:  100%
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (2 years due to external funding)
Release Date:  Thursday 21 September 2023
Closing Date:  Thursday 05 October 2023
Reference:  FBSAS1068

The University community is made up of a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances, which we value and regard as a great asset. As part of our continued commitment to equality and inclusion, we strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and have a real opportunity to participate in and contribute to our activities.

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