3-year postdoctoral research position
A postdoctoral research associate position in experimental studies of ultrafast photobiology is available in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, supported by the BBSRC Grant BB/W003449/1, Creating and comprehending the circuitry of life: precise biomolecular design of multi-centre redox enzymes for a synthetic metabolism. The project is a collaboration between Dr Tom Oliver, Dr Ross Anderson, Prof Adrian Mulholland, Dr Paul Curnow (University of Bristol), Prof Julea Butt (UEA), Dr Bruce Lichtenstein (Portsmouth) and Dr Amandine Marechal (UCL).
The multidisciplinary project aims to design, synthesise and characterise modular light harvesting proteins and redox-active enzymes capable of broadband solar energy capture, highly directional electron and/or proton transfer, providing an unprecedented framework to better understand and exploit the exceptional properties of the natural electron and energy conducting machinery.
The postdoctoral research associate will work on the following objectives of the project: (i) assemble a new commercial ultrafast laser system to probe photoinduced dynamics spanning 100 femtoseconds to 1 millisecond; (ii) determine the rates of photoinduced electron transfer between multiple moieties in designer proteins; (iii) elucidate the ultrafast electronic energy transfer pathways between chromophores in specially tailored photoactive proteins using 2D electronic spectroscopy.
You will undertake ultrafast laser laboratory-based studies in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, collaborating closely with the multidisciplinary consortium across four institutions. You will contribute to the construction of transient absorption and transient infrared experiments using a commercial dual-amplified ultrafast laser system and optical parametric amplifiers to probe dynamics between 100 fs and 1 ms. You will also use an established 2D electronic spectroscopy experiment to monitor ultrafast energy transfer reactions occurring on 10 fs – 200 ps timescales. The rate constants determined from ultrafast studies for energy and electron transfer will be used to identify bottlenecks or potential deficiencies in the synthetic proteins and be provide critical feedback in the iterative protein design process. Other techniques will include: 2D electronic-vibrational spectroscopy and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy.
The position would best suit a talented and motivated early career researcher with a PhD in Physical Chemistry or Physics and experience in experimental research using ultrafast laser spectroscopy. Some or all of the following skills and experience would be an advantage: use of ultrafast Yb:KGW or Ti:sapphire amplifiers and optical parametric amplifiers; knowledge of non-linear optics; development of Labview control software; experience with analysis of time-resolved spectra; handling photoactive proteins or biomolecules; ability to communicate complex information clearly and accurately in English, both in written and oral forms; ability to work independently and as part of a team.
Further details of the BBSRC grant can be found here: https://circuitsoflife.uk/
The School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion and we strongly encourage applications from all backgrounds, especially those historically underrepresented in scientific research. The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and it provides mentorship and a collegial and inclusive working environment for all staff.
We are always seeking highly motivated PhD students to join our research group. There are various projects and funding sources that can be found for the right candidate. To discuss this further, contact Tom via email. Formal applications can be made here.