AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP Post Doc Fellow - Exploiting Cryo-EM data with molecular dynamics in Waltham, Massachusetts

Postdoctoral Long Title: Combining advanced molecular modelling and molecular dynamic methods with cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) data in understanding the activation mechanism of human ATM kinase

We’re currently looking for talented scientists to join our innovative academic-style Postdoc. From our centre in Boston, US, you’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment, contributing to live projects right from the start. You’ll take part in a comprehensive training programme, including a focus on drug discovery and development, given access to our existing Postdoctoral research, and encouraged to pursue your own independent research in cutting edge laboratories. It’s a newly expanding programme spanning a range of therapeutic areas across a wide range of disciplines.

What’s more, you’ll have the support of a leading academic advisor, who’ll provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to develop your career. This is an exciting area that hasn’t been explored to its full potential, making this an opportunity to make a real difference to the future of medical science.

AstraZeneca (AZ) is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. At AZ, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives - and are made to feel valued, energised and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

You'll have the opportunity to combine advanced molecular modelling and molecular dynamics methods with cryo-EM density maps to provide unparalleled understanding the structure and conformational flexibility of biomolecules which cannot be crystallized. Multiple computational approaches have been utilized externally, but there is no “best practice” yet defined, so this is an opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of experts push the science forward and apply new hybrid methods to both published and proprietary AZ datasets. Ultimately, this work should enable identification of new small molecule binding sites to modulate future drug targets of interest.

You'll be responsible for working independently to develop and evaluate methods to enhance medium-resolution cryo-EM structures with additional atomic detail, and characterize these further with molecular dynamics simulations, trajectory analysis, and interpretation to help the understanding the role of conformation on the activation and regulation of the human ATM enzyme kinase. This project will be supported by experienced computational chemists and experts in cryo-electron microscopy, and you will update and seek input from the group at regular project meetings, and will present the research to the wider community of AZ computational chemists, postdoc groups, and the senior leadership team, as well. You'll be further responsible for the planning and writing of manuscripts reporting their results, aiming for high-impact journals.

Essential Education and Experience:

Doctorate degree in the area of computational chemistry, with relevant experience in biophysical chemistry and carrying out molecular dynamics simulations of proteins with software such as DESMOND, AMBER, or GROMACS.


Experience with programming languages, such as python, and working with both X-ray crystallographic and cryo-EM density maps.

Skills and Capabilities:

  • Scientific independence, with excellent time management skills, forward planning and delivery focus.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills and ability to work well in multidisciplinary teams.

  • Demonstrated track record of scientific publication.

This is a 3 year programme. 2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1 year extension which will be merit based. The role will be based in Boston, US with a competitive salary on offer. To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

Advert opening date – 5th March 2018 / Advert closing date – 14th May 2018

AZ welcomes applications from all sections of the community. AZ is an equal opportunity employer. AZ will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

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