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[ccp4bb] Postdoctoral positions available in Melbourne, Australia - protein chemistry and enzymology of DNA repair



Two Postdoctoral Positions are available in the Genome Stability Unit @ St Vincent’s Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

The Genome Stability Unit studies familial cancer syndromes that cause predisposition to breast/ovarian cancer, leukaemias and other solid tumours. These families inherit a defect in the ability to maintain genome stability and accumulate mutations at a faster rate, thus cancer occurs earlier in life with a higher probability. This mechanism of genome stability is intricate and involves a number of signalling and DNA repair pathways. We reconstitute these pathways biochemically using recombinant proteins and synthetic DNA molecules. Together with local and international partners, we aim to understand DNA repair function and suitability for drug targeting. We are looking for full-time postdoctoral leaders of two fully-funded projects:
Project 1: Functional analysis of new breast cancer predisposition genes.

Offers the challenge of developing a new biochemical functional test for several breast cancer predisposition genes linked to defects in DNA repair. This project is funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and the postdoc would participate in a large Australia-wide consortium into familial breast cancer predisposition. Experimental approaches include working with patient samples, producing recombinant proteins, assaying DNA repair activity in vivo and in vitro, and integrating findings with data collected from over 11,000 individuals from predisposed families. Structural biology components to the project are available to those with experience/interest, and the Institute is close to the Australian Synchrotron beam line.
Project 2: Development of new chemotherapy sensitisers.

Offers the challenge of identifying new drugs for the treatment of cancer, and cancer predisposition disorders. In this project the postdoc would undertake preclinical analysis of drug hits identified as inhibitors or activators of DNA repair signalling. There would be a particular focus on the Fanconi Anaemia DNA repair pathway, for which the lab has international expertise.  Elements of the project include biochemical reconstitution of DNA repair processes, and assaying and improvement of drugs identified in lab-based screens. 

Coming from a strong scientific background, you will be expected to have: 
creativity and scientific curiosity
independence and ability to collaborate 
a PhD in biology, medicine or chemistry discipline (or completing in early 2017)
a track record of producing quality results in a laboratory setting
at least one first author paper in a strong, peer-reviewed publication

Nice-to-have (but we can teach you if you don’t):
knowledge of DNA repair pathways and processes
expertise in protein chemistry, cell biology, genetics or oncology (project 1)
expertise in protein chemistry, drug screening, preclinical development (project 2)

Australian postdoc salaries are considerably higher than in the US or Europe $74,689-$93,888 (dependent upon experience).
+9.5% superannuation
+generous $15,900 tax-exempt salary packaging
Melbourne is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities, and is one of the top six biotech hubs:
Research themes and publications http://genomestability.weebly.com
Applications (or enquiries) should be addressed to Dr Andrew Deans adeans@svi.edu.au (for project 1) or Dr Wayne Crismani wcrismani@svi.edu.au (for project 2). Applications should include a cover letter addressing suitability and ambition for the position, 2-3 page CV and academic referee contact information. Please apply by January 31, 2017.