Postdoctoral position to use eukaryotic genetics to study O-GlcNAc signalling pathways linked to development and neurodegeneration

Job Title:                               Postdoctoral Research Assistant

School:                                  Life Sciences

Unit:                                       Gene Regulation and Expression

Grade:                                   Grade 7 (£31,076 - £38,183)

Job Category:                       Research

Postdoctoral position to use eukaryotic genetics to study O-GlcNAc signalling pathways linked to development and neurodegeneration in the laboratory of Professor Daan van Aalten FRSE.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position to work in the multidisciplinary laboratory of Daan van Aalten to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of the O-GlcNAc posttranslational modification in development and neurodegeneration. This position is funded by a prestigious 5-year Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust. The van Aalten lab has a major interest in how O-GlcNAcylation controls protein function. We have discovered a key role of this modification in IL1 signalling (EMBO J. 2012) and Drosophila development (Open Biol. 2015), as well as understanding the modifying enzymes involved (e.g. Nat.Struct.Mol.Biol 2015) and developing potent inhibitors (e.g. Chemistry & Biology 2010). We are now using CRISPR/Cas9 and pharmacological approaches in eukaryotic models to study the mechanisms of how O-GlcNAc controls patterning of the early embryo and the nervous system, including models of neurodegeneration and recently discovered human mutations in the O-GlcNAc processing enzymes leading to neurodevelopmental disorders. The successful applicant will have access to state-of-the-art technologies in biochemistry, proteomics, genome editing, cell biology, and transgenic models to uncover new fundamental knowledge on these key molecules.

You will use recently generated novel eukaryotic lines to study the role of the O-GlcNAc modification in a number of models of neurodegenerative/neurodevelopmental disease. This position is available for 24 months in the first instance, with possible extension for another 3 year. Starting date is in spring 2017.

Candidate requirements:


- A background in working with eukaryotic models of neurodegeneration/metabolic disease and possessing a personal animal license.
- PhD with an outstanding track record and at least one first authored publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal.
- Capable of working in a team, but able to generate ideas, plan and work independently.
- A desire to interact with, and learn from, scientists beyond your own discipline/culture.
- Excellent communication skills and proficiency in English, in particular in writing scientific publications.


- A background in biochemistry, molecular biology, signal transduction and or pharmacology would be preferable.
- Familiarity with protein glycosylation and related developmental disorders.

For informal enquiries please contact Daan van Aalten ( For details on the van Aalten lab please visit our website The van Aalten lab is based in the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression and is an exciting and collaborative research environment, equipped to the highest international standards. The School of Life Sciences is in a beautiful location overlooking the estuary of the River Tay. This is one of the premier Life Sciences research centres in the world and was recently assessed as the top UK University for Life Sciences research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

How to apply:

To apply on-line please visit:

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