Research Associate in Biochemistry

Job Description

(Human Replication)

Job description
Job summary
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the laboratory of Professor Christian Speck at the Department of Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial College London (

This is an ideal opportunity for an enthusiastic and highly creative scientist to join a dynamic research team with excellent collaborators and facilities. The successful applicant will use cutting-edge biochemical and structural approaches to discover fundamental biological mechanisms of human DNA replication factors in the assembly of the replication fork and for regulated heterochromatin formation with therapeutic potential

Duties and responsibilities
The applicant will investigate how human replication factors function and how they are regulated, which is crucial to understanding how cancer development is initiated and in developing novel replication inhibitors with potential as chemotherapeutic drugs. The research will involve design of constructs, expression and purification of proteins & protein complexes using bacteria and insect cells (multi-bac). The purified factors will be used for the development of novel biochemical assays, structure determination by cryo-electron microscopy, analysis of protein dynamics by FRET assays and inhibitor development. The applicant will be working as part of a team, and will have ample opportunity to drive the project’s direction in a creative way.

Candidates will enjoy interactions with group members specialised in biochemistry, cryo-EM or in vivo approaches, generating a collaborative and productive atmosphere. The lab is very well equipped for biochemistry and the structural EM work and has direct access to electron microscopes at the local MRC facility, the fully-equipped cryo-EM facility at Imperial College London and as founding member of LonCEM, regular access of a Titan Krios with K3 detector.

By joining the group, the candidate will not only participate in high profile research projects, but will also be directly mentored by Professor Speck in successful grant writing, networking and publishing. This will prepare the post holder to make the next career move.

Essential requirements
The candidate should have a PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular/Structural Biology, or equivalent experience, a strong publication record and extensive expertise in protein biochemistry and/or cryo-EM. A background in the areas of molecular machines, the chromatin field, structure determination & modelling, DNA replication, cell cycle, DNA repair, and the broader area of genome stability would be an advantage, but is not necessary.

Further information
The latest expected start date is early/mid 2018.

For informal inquiries or questions please contact Professor Christian Speck directly (

Should you have queries about applying for the role, please contact:
Michelle Buckman –

About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information
Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations:

Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
Deliver positive outcomes
Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
Develop and grow skills and expertise
Work in a planned and managed way
In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.