Post-doc position in biophysics of bacterial cell division
Start date: mid-2017 (negotiable)
Application deadline: 24th May 2017
Joint position between Holden lab, Newcastle University, UK and Dekker lab, TU Delft, Netherlands.
We have an opening for an outstanding experimental post-doc to pursue an exciting project at the interface of biophysics, microbiology, nanofabrication, and super-resolution microscopy.
In order to divide, bacteria assemble a dynamic multi-protein nanomachine which builds a cross-wall at the middle of the cell. This is a fascinating physical puzzle: how do one of the major branches of life, the bacteria, cut themselves in half for reproduction? It is also medically important: if we can better understand how bacteria divide, we may be able to devise new antibiotics to directly target this process.
The small size of bacteria makes it difficult to study division directly in cells. However, we recently combined super-resolution microscopy with nanofabricated micro-cages which force bacteria to stand on their heads, allowing superb imaging of the cell division plane. Together these advances allow us to study bacterial cell division in real time, at ultra-high resolution directly in cells .
In this project, you will unravel basic physical principles of bacterial cell division by further developing this new technology and using it to study how bacteria construct their dividing crosswall, both at the microscale, at the level of the entire crosswall, and at the nanoscale, i.e. at the level of the individual cell-wall building nanomachines.
We are looking for a biophysicist with prior expertise in any of these areas: super-resolution microscopy, single molecule imaging, bacterial biophysics, or nanofabrication. Prior experience in microbiology is not required. Applicants should have an excellent publication record and possess a doctorate by the position start date. The postdoc will work at both Delft (mostly cleanroom microfabrication and basic characterization) and Newcastle (high-resolution imaging).
 A.W. Bisson-Filho, Y.-P. Hsu, G.R. Squyres, E. Kuru, F. Wu, C. Jukes, Y. Sun, C. Dekker, S. Holden, M.S. VanNieuwenhze, Y.V. Brun, E.C. Garner, Treadmilling by FtsZ filaments drives peptidoglycan synthesis and bacterial cell division, Science. 355 (2017) 739-743. doi:10.1126/science.aak9973.
Dr Seamus Holden
University Research Fellow
Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE2 4AX, United Kingdom