A Postdoctoral Researcher and a Research Technician to study spliced leader trans-splicing, University of Aberdeen

The laboratory of Berndt Müller and Jonathan Pettitt at the Institute of Medical Sciences of the University of Aberdeen has open positions for a Postdoctoral Researcher with a strong interest in RNA biology and for a Research Technician.  These positions are supported by a BBSRC-funded project grant that aims to understand the molecular machinery critical for an essential, nematode-specific pre-mRNA maturation step termed spliced leader trans-splicing.

The project combines state-of-the-art nematode molecular genetics and RNA biochemistry, including genome editing, proteomics and RNA sequencing technologies to (1) determine the molecular composition of RNA-protein complexes critical for spliced leader trans-splicing; and (2) define the roles of newly identified protein factors. We have partnered with Prof Michael Sattler (Technical University of Munich), a leading expert in the structural biology of RNA-protein complexes, for the detailed analysis of molecular interactions and structures.  This comprehensive, multifaceted approach will provide crucial insights into nematode gene expression, with clear implications for the development of new treatments for parasitic nematode infections.

Lab website: https://www.aberdeenwormlab.org/

University staff websites:



The POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER will work in collaboration with the Research Technician to employ CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering to generate transgenic animals that express fluorescently tagged trans-splicing factors for the analysis of protein expression and localisation, and the characterisation of RNA and protein complexes by immunoprecipitation followed by RNA-Seq analysis and proteomics, respectively. The role of identified factors will be determined by analysing the effect of their loss-of-function on spliced leader trans-splicing in vivo. Their detailed molecular functions will be determined using protein-protein and RNA-protein interaction assays, including UV cross-linking “CRAC” technologies, which will also allow us to measure the dynamics of these interactions in vivo. Molecular structures will be solved in collaboration with the group of our project partner Professor Michael Sattler (Technical University of Munich), which has an established, world-leading track record in biomolecular structure determination and with whom the successful candidate will work closely.

Candidates for the POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER position must have a PhD in a relevant discipline such as Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Genetics, with experience of working with Caenorhabditis elegans or another genetically-tractable system, and a strong interest in RNA biology.

The ideal candidate would have extensive experience in molecular biology techniques, RNA analysis and the investigation of RNA-protein and protein-protein interactions. Experience with high-throughput sequencing, proteomics, confocal fluorescence microscopy or genome editing would be an advantage.

Targeted start date for this position is January 1, 2020.  Salary will be at the appropriate point on the Grade 6 University of Aberdeen salary scale (£33,797 – £36,914 per annum). The position will be available for a period of 36 months.

For more details about the POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER position and to apply go to:


The RESEARCH TECHNICIAN will work closely with the Postdoctoral Researcher and support other members of the laboratory working on related projects. This post also involves the management, organisation and operation of an expanding research laboratory and support of associated undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

We are looking for a skilled, experienced and ambitious individual with good technical abilities in microbiology and molecular biology and experience in working with C. elegans or other genetically tractable model organisms.  A good BSc in Molecular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology or related area is desirable. Training will be given for specialised techniques.

Targeted start date for this position is January 1, 2020. Salary will be on Grade 5 of the University of Aberdeen salary scale (£28,332 per annum). The position will be available for a period of 36 months.

For more details about the RESEARCH TECHNICIAN position and to apply go to:


Informal enquiries about both positions are very much encouraged and may be made to Dr Berndt Müller (b.mueller@nullabdn.ac.uk).