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Postdoctoral Researcher for cryo-EM studies of large protein complexes involved in cellular immunity (1.0 FTE)



Date & time Sep 8
Ends on Sep 15
Utrecht, Netherlands
Creator lhammes
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Who's attending

lhammes Free


Postdoctoral Researcher for cryo-EM studies of large protein complexes involved in cellular immunity (1.0 FTE)

Registartion website

Hours per week: 3

8 to 40

Faculty: Faculty of Science

Department: Department of Chemistry, Structural Biochemistry

Application deadline: 19 September 2021

Job description

The Structural Biochemistry group of Professor Piet Gros has a long-standing track record at the frontiers of structural biology focusing on elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underlie biological processes with a major emphasis on human plasma-proteins and cell-surface receptors. The lab has an internationally strong reputation in uncovering the molecular mechanisms that underpin the complement system. We combine protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, light microscopy, biochemical and biophysical assays to get a detailed picture of the molecular interactions that enable the complement system to discriminate between healthy self-cells and pathogens or dying/malignant cells.

We currently offer the opportunity for a postdoctoral Researcher to join forces with us on an ERC funded project that investigates the correlation between levels of organisation within the membrane and complement efficacy. Most of the interactions we are looking into for this project are in the high nM to mM range and involve large flexible multi-domain proteins. So, the challenge for you will be to find conditions/tricks that capture the complex of interest in a state that enables detailed structural analyses.

Prinicipal tasks and responsibilities:

  • deliver high quality protein samples for structural analyses;
  • collect and analyse cryo-EM data;
  • structure determination, atomic model building and validation;
  • function as a go-to for PhDs and Postdocs in the group for expert advice on all aspects of cryo-EM sample preparation, data collection and analyses;
  • communicate you research findings within the group and to the larger scientific community.


We seek a highly motivated individual with the ability to run their project independently, but who also likes to collaborate with and advice other members of our team.

Required knowledge/skills/abilities:

  • a PhD in structural biology or a closely related field;
  • proven experience in cryo-EM;
  • purification and analysis of protein complexes;
  • excellent oral and written skills in English.

Optional skills/abilities that are considered an advantage:

  • protein crystallography;
  • Cryo-ET;
  • molecular biology;
  • handling of membrane proteins.


  • a position for two years with the possibility of an extension to a maximum of four years;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,839 to €4,474 in scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment condition In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here external link.

About the organisation

The Structural Biochemistry group was formed by joining the forces of the protein crystallography groups of Professor Piet Gros and the cryo-EM/ET group, led by Professor Friedrich Förster. We recently moved into a newly refurbished lab which is expected to stimulate the already close synergy between the two group leaders. The group is part of the Bijvoet Centre for Biomolecular Research external link at Utrecht University which offers a stimulating, collaborative environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure (e.g., cryo-EM, MS, X-ray, NMR, light microscopy (incl. PALM/STORM/SDCM), protein and membrane biochemistry). Cryo-EM microscopes are available at the Utrecht EM-square and the national facility NeCEN. In-house facilities include Formulatrix crystallization imagers, a Bruker Kappa Apex II/Proteum diffractometer; for cryo-EM and cryo-ET (EM-square facilities): glow-dischargers, Vitrobot, EM-microscopes including Tecnai 10/12/20 and Talos Arctica with energy filter and Gatan K2 detector and Volta phase plate; computing facilities include state-of-the-art GPU-equipped workstations.

At the Faculty of Science external link there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University external link is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional information

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Harma Brondijk external link ([email protected] external link).

Questions about the application procedure? Please send an email to [email protected] external link.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward this link to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 19 September 2021.

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