This is a full-time (two years) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.
The research group
Our group investigates the molecular details underlying autophagy in mammalian cells. Autophagy is fundamental to human health and for combating disease and infection. We are a diverse group of cell biologists, biochemists and structural biologists focusing on the protein-protein and protein-lipid networks underpinning this essential, highly conserved and medically important process of autophagy. We are experts in a variety of approaches from cell-based assays to biochemical structure-function approaches, both holistic and reductionist. Our goal is to attain a deeper, more complete understanding of the mechanisms which drive autophagosome formation and autophagy. Our work will contribute to efforts to develop strategies to control and manipulate autophagy in humans to combat disease.
Dr Tooze’s laboratory focuses on understanding autophagy in mammalian cells in particular the initial stages of autophagosome formation induced by amino acid starvation. This is a fascinating process of vesicle formation and membrane remodelling that requires immediate mobilization of both proteins and lipids in an orchestrated fashion. We study both the essential autophagy proteins (called ATG proteins), as well as the network of interactors underlying these complex membrane events. Our work employs modern cell biology techniques, biochemistry, state of the art light and electron microscopy, and structural approaches. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will become proficient in a number of these techniques, and in addition to the expertise within the lab, be supported and trained by the Francis Crick Institute Science technology platforms (STPs).
The research project aims to identify the initiation site of autophagosome membrane formation, (the phagophore), and will contribute to an ERC-funded research programme. As part of a team effort working on different stages of initiation, with a focus on ATG9A, the successful candidate will contribute to a mechanistic understanding of autophagosome initiation. Starting from a recently established Turbo-ID biotinylation proteomics approach, the successful candidate will address (but not be limited to) these specific aims:
- Further development and validation of the Turbo-ID data with support from the Mass Spec and Bioinformatics STPs
- Functional understanding of candidate(s) required for phagophore formation
- Integrate validated candidate(s) into our mechanistic understanding of autophagosome formation and autophagy.
Project Research Scientists are expected to lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators). The ability to work in a team is essential.
Key experience and competencies
The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:
- PhD in Biochemistry or Molecular Cell Biology or in the final stages of PhD submission
- Hands-on experience in biochemistry
- Good knowledge of, or experience in proteomic approaches
- Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in refereed journals
- Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings
- Excellent communication skills, particularly in communicating and developing testable hypotheses and quantitative concepts
- Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group
- Demonstrate continuous integrity and positivity and motivate others to do the same.
- Hands-on experience in imaging cells, light microscopy or electron microscopy
- Relevant experience in vesicular, protein and lipid trafficking
- Experience with relevant software tools such as R, Python, or MATLAB as well as relevant machine learning frameworks
- Experience in statistical data analysis, and expertise in areas such as experimental design, linear/nonlinear models, data mining, Bayesian methods, and statistical learning