Research Associate Positions in Professor Berger-Schaffitzel lab

The role:

We are seeking a post-doctoral research associate to perform laboratory-based snakebite envenoming (SBE) research in the Berger-Schaffitzel lab at the University of Bristol. The post-holder will use state-of-the-art protein engineering and display technology to generate high-affinity nanobodies against diverse toxins from snake venoms. These will be selected to neutralise the pathogenic function of toxins, for their use as antivenom.

The post-holder will benefit from the cutting-edge molecular biology, protein biochemistry, synthetic biology, structural biology and biophysics expertise and facilities in Bristol, capitalize on our eukaryotic expression, nanobody and Ribosome Display platforms, and synergize with our academic collaborators. Bristol offers state-of-the-art facilities for protein expression; access to modern biophysical instrumentation (surface plasmon resonance, dynamic light scattering, isothermal calorimetry, CD and fluorescence spectrometers) and cryo-EM is provided. Importantly, the post-holder will be member of and thus have access to equipment and facilities of the Bristol Synthetic Biology Centre (BrisSynBio ) and the new Max-Planck Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology.

This Wellcome-Trust funded project on SBE is an international collaboration of the Berger-Schaffitzel and the Berger labs at Bristol, with Professors Robert Harrison and Nicholas Casewell at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, who are leading experts in venom analysis (using transcriptomics and proteomics approaches) and snakebite envenoming treatments, Dr Kartik Sunagar (Indian Institute of Science Bangalore), Dr George Omondi Oluoch (Kenya-Snakebite Research & Intervention Centre, Nairobi) and Dr Kevin Sok (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, USA).

What will you be doing?
  • Work collaboratively on an original laboratory-based research project.
  • Contribute to the design and development of the project (guidance will be given as to the direction of the research and the techniques used).
  • Record accurately and clearly all results obtained at highest standard.
  • Communicate the results of the project at regular internal laboratory meetings, meetings with the collaboration partners, and at appropriate scientific conferences.
  • Contribute to the writing of research papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Manage and record all materials and results obtained or created during the course of the work.
  • Assist in the day-to-day running of the shared research laboratory.
  • Assist in the supervision of Ph.D. and B.Sc. students.
  • Act professionally in performing international leading basic research with the objective of generating high-affinity binders which neutralise toxins from venoms of medically important snakes.

You should apply if
  • You should hold, or expect to hold shortly, a PhD in Biochemistry, Biophysics or a related subject.
  • Working experience with antibody libraries (or similar) and display techniques, molecular biology techniques, protein expression and protein purification techniques, biochemical and biophysical analysis.
  • Keen interest in scientific questions under investigation in the lab coupled with a desire to learn/advance skills in new techniques.
  • A published track record (including in press / in revision) of research productivity at a level that is appropriate for your current career stage.
  • Willingness to travel occasionally and have flexible working practice.
  • Possess good time management skills and the ability to prioritise and work independently and as part of a busy and vibrant team.
  • Good communication skills, including excellent written and oral presentation skills in English.

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Christiane Berger-Schaffitzel via email: or phone: +44 (0)117 3941869.

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.