We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated post-doctoral fellow to contribute to a newly funded NIH R01 project. The focus of this position will be to define the unique catalytic mechanism of the flavivirus NS5 RNA capping enzyme, which is a critical enzymatic function within the flavivirus replication cycle. Flaviviruses, including dengue, West Nile, and Zika viruses, possess positive strand RNA genomes with 5’ RNA cap structures that are formed by the combination of the NS3 RNA triphosphatase and NS5 guanylyltransferase/methyltransferase activities. The NS5 guanylyltransferase function has been demonstrated, but because NS5 does not have sequence or structural similarity to known nucleotidyltransferase enzymes it appears that NS5 uses a unique mechanism to cap viral RNA genomes. Defining how the NS5 guanylyltransferase enzyme functions will provide critical new targets for ongoing antiviral development efforts within the lab.
Key goals for this position will be to 1) determine the catalytic active site of the NS5 guanylyltransferase enzyme using existing and to-be-developed assays, 2) define the overall sequence of reactions (guanylyltransferase/methyltransferase) that occur during flavivirus RNA capping, and 3) explore how the structure of the 5’ untranslated region influences RNA capping efficiency, and 4) define how viral RNA capping occurs within the context of the overall genome replication cycle.
Candidate must have received a PhD in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Biology, or related discipline and show evidence of significant experience in molecular biology and protein biochemistry (protein expression, purification, characterization), enzymology (assay development and determination of kinetic parameters), and characterization of RNA modifying enzymes. Experience with virology, mass spectroscopy of nucleic acids (or nucleotides) and/or biophysical techniques (CD/ITC/SPR) is preferred.
For full position announcement and to apply go to: http://jobs.colostate.edu/postings/53492
CSU is an EO/EA/AA employer and conducts background checks on all final candidates.