Join Us | Postdoctoral Research Assistant


Reference Number
Closing Date
Grade 7 (£33,309 - £40,927)

The Kulathu Lab at the MRC PPU, University of Dundee is looking to hire two postdocs with strong expertise in biochemistry and structural biology to address exciting questions about how the pseudokinases IRAK2 and IRAK3 regulate innate immune signalling.

The innate immune response is the first line of defence against bacteria, viruses and parasites. When innate immune receptors are triggered it leads to the formation of a large oligomeric signalling complex called the Myddosome. Within the Myddosome, the IRAK kinases are activated to trigger a signalling cascade that culminates in the expression and secretion of cytokines that shape the immune response to invading pathogens. There are 4 IRAK kinases expressed in humans, two of which (IRAK2 and IRAK3) lack key catalytic residues and are therefore dead kinases or pseudo-kinases. The aim of this project will be to understand the molecular mechanisms by which these dead kinases regulate immune signalling.

This project will build on recently published work (see Lange et al, Structure 2020), this project will utilize protein biochemistry, cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography to define how IRAK kinases are activated and regulated. This project has the potential to reveal fundamental principles underlying the activation and regulation of innate immune signalling, and reveal how they could be modulated to treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, artherosclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and psoriasis. This work will be a collaborative project with Sir Philip Cohen.

Lange et al. Structure 2020. DOI:
Gay N et al. Nature Rev Immunol. DOI:

The positions are available for 3 years.

Who we're looking for:

We are looking for a talented, motivated individual with a PhD (or nearing completion of your PhD) in Biochemistry, Structural Biology or a related field. Candidates will be expected to have expertise in the following areas:

  • Recombinant protein expression and purification
  • In vitro reconstitution and characterisation of multiprotein complexes
  • Biochemistry, enzyme kinetics or structural biology

You will have a track record of research productivity and have demonstrated an ability to work independently, enthusiasm for research and excellent communication skills. It is expected that the candidate will develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. In this case the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 – 28).

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 40 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

The University of Dundee is a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat and is committed to enhancing the research environment and culture. Engagement and support of activities which assist the researcher development agenda at the University is therefore essential.

For further information about this position please contact Yogesh Kulathu at To find out more about MRC PPU please visit

To apply, please submit a single PDF file that contains:

  • A curriculum vitae. Please include list of publications and submissions to Biorxiv with a brief description of your contribution to the work.
  • A cover letter that outlines your research interests and career goals, a brief summary highlighting your expertise in biochemistry, structure-function analyses and cell biology.

Commitment to DORA
The School of Life Sciences has been fully committed to the principals of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) since 2013. In assessing applicants, we consider the scientific quality of their published research papers, but do not take into account where the papers were published and do not consider journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors.

As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

To apply on-line please visit: If you are unable to apply on-line please contact Human Resources on (01382) 386209 (answering machine) for an application pack. Please quote reference number
Reference Number
The University of Dundee is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

The University of Dundee is a diverse community and is committed to equality of opportunity for all by providing a supportive, flexible and inclusive working environment. We have family friendly policies (including flexible working and childcare vouchers), staff groups for LGBT and BME; and prayer room facilities.

The University of Dundee has received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award which recognises the promotion of gender equality and has made further commitment to advancing inclusive culture which supports and encourages all under-represented groups.

The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096.