Postdoctoral Fellow: Structural Biology and Enzymology

This vacancy is with AstraZeneca - applications will be managed by their administration team.
Postdoctoral Fellow: Structural Biology and Enzymology

Key information

Job reference
Competitive salary with bonus and benefits
Application close date
06 December 2021, 00:01 GMT
Posted 27 October 2021
Background texture taken from the lab imagery.

Are you looking for a postdoc position that offers the resources and support of a global pharmaceutical company and the focus on pioneering science of a leading biomedical research institution? If so, this AstraZeneca funded project based at the Francis Crick Institute in London could be the perfect opportunity for you.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-centred biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious disease. But we’re more than a global leading pharmaceutical company. At AstraZeneca, we‘re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and fuel your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society.

About the Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical research institute working with organisations across academia, medicine and industry to make discoveries about how life works. Its vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; developing emerging talent and exporting it to the rest of the UK; public engagement; and helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.

About the AstraZeneca postdoc programme

Bring your expertise, apply your knowledge, follow the science and make a difference.

AstraZeneca’s postdoc programme is for self-motivated individuals looking to tackle exciting, high impact projects in a collaborative, engaging and innovative environment. You'll work with peers and professionals from a diverse group of backgrounds, and a world class academic mentor specifically aligned to your project. We'll help you develop valuable networks which support your research and future career development!

AstraZeneca postdocs are respected as specialists and encouraged to speak up. They lead ground-breaking drug discovery and development research projects. Our vibrant, multi-disciplinary scientific teams empower and support our Postdocs, and we encourage them to share their research at conferences, publish papers, achieve their goals and make a difference to our patients.

You'll learn from industry leaders working on innovative research across our organization. Our postdoc training programme will support you to develop transferrable skills from influencing others to shape the agenda, to data analysis.

Are you ready to explore this exciting next step in your research career? Apply today!

About the opportunity

SAMHD1 has been shown to function in DNA damage repair to maintain genome integrity and mediate double-strand break repair through homologous recombination. This project intends to deliver novel structural, biophysical and biochemical data to validate and quantify these SAMHD1 interactions and characterise its mechanistic activity. This data will inform on the biological mechanism of SAMHD1 in double strand break repair, reveal how perturbations result in genome instability and cancer, and drive drug target hypotheses relating to DNA damage repair and cancer.

You’ll lead independent research focused on structural and mechanistic characterisation of SAMHD1 and interacting components of the DNA repair pathway. The Taylor lab are world leading in SAMHD1 biology and our recent studies have begun to reveal the molecular details and catalytic mechanism of SAMHD1 dNTP hydrolysis (Morris et al 2020, Nat commun 11, 3165; Morris et al 2021, Biochemistry 60, 1682). In this multidisciplinary project, that combines in vitro enzymatic and structural studies of SAMHD1, you’ll apply state-of-the-art biophysical, enzymatic and structural methods to examine the effects of DNA damage proteins on SAMHD1 quaternary structure, allostery and catalysis as well as protein-protein/protein-DNA interactions.

You will be an integral part of the Crick’s research team, carrying out lab organisational tasks and supervision. You’ll be supported by their postdoc network, the wider Crick community, and enjoy close ties to your AstraZeneca colleagues.

Qualification, skills & experience


  • A PhD (or equivalent) in structural biology, enzymology, biophysics or other relevant biomedical science field.
  • A keen interest in understanding DNA damage repair.
  • Comprehensive skills in molecular biology, protein expression and purification.
  • Familiar with X-ray/cryo-EM data collection and structure refinement methodologies for structural biology.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organisational and communication skills.
  • Proven ability to independently design and execute experiments and interpret results.
  • Ability to see opportunities, learn, and apply that learning to solve problems and drive innovation
  • Good networking, collaboration and teamworking skills


  • Good understanding of enzymology and assay development.
  • Experience in biophysical analysis of protein and/or protein-nucleic acid complexes.

This is a 3-year programme. 2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1-year extension which will be merit based.

Ready for an exciting, rewarding challenge? Apply today!

If you require any reasonable adjustments or accommodations during your application or interview process, please let us know.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.