Postdoctoral Position to Investigate the Evolution of Novel Gene Regulatory Interactions in Bacteria at Uppsala University, Sweden

Posted on January 9,

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Postdoctoral scholarship (tax-free stipend, 100%) for a period of 2 years (start date as soon as possible, but slightly flexible for the right candidate).

We are seeking to hire a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the origins and evolution of novel gene regulatory interactions in bacteria. This will be accomplished using genetic screens, molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, experimental evolution, and multi-omics approaches. The research is led by Dr. Arianne Babina, with Dr. Omar Warsi and Prof. Dan Andersson acting as co-supervisors.

Project description: The need to understand how bacterial gene regulatory interactions emerge and evolve to help bacteria quickly adapt to environmental changes has never been more crucial. Recent research has shown that gene regulatory network evolution is at the forefront of facilitating bacterial adaptation to novel ecological niches (e.g. antimicrobial resistance and host adaptation of pathogens). While a lot of progress has been made towards understanding the mechanisms that bacteria use to control gene expression, we still know very little about how new gene control mechanisms form de novo, from previously nonfunctional DNA sequences, and are further optimized. This project centers around isolating and functionally characterizing novel small protein and RNA regulators from randomly-generated DNA libraries. We will also compare how different environmental factors might affect the emergence and function of new gene regulatory interactions in bacterial genomes, and their evolution over time to help the bacteria adapt to new conditions. The project outcomes will help us predict and manage bacterial responses to environmental changes and aid in the design of biotechnological solutions to improve human health, agriculture, and industry.

Qualifications: We are looking for a postdoc that has (or is about to receive) a PhD in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, or a related field. Experience with standard microbiology and molecular biology techniques, including molecular cloning, recombinant strain construction, and the development and/or execution of various bacterial growth and reporter assays, is strongly desired. Additional experience with experimental evolution and RNA/protein biochemistry techniques is advantageous, but not required. The successful candidate should demonstrate an ability to undertake the practical and theoretical aspects of the project, be able to work both independently and in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team, be willing to supervise and train Master’s students, and have a high proficiency in both written and spoken English.

Instructions for application: To apply, please send the following documents as a single pdf to Dr. Arianne Babina at [email protected]:

  • A cover letter briefly describing your research interests and motivation for why you would be suitable for the position (maximum 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae including list of publications
  • Copy of proof of passed PhD exam (or information on an upcoming PhD defense)
  • Names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of three references

For further information and informal enquiries about the position, please contact Dr. Arianne Babina, [email protected].