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Postdoc Fellow - Cryo-EM based molecular dynamics and modelling at AstraZeneca

Posted in Other 30+ days ago.

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Location: Waltham, Massachusetts

Job Description:
AstraZeneca 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. We're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. We believe in the potential of our people and you'll develop beyond what you thought possible.

The new R&D Oncology organisation brings together early and late oncology teams, from discovery through to late-stage development, with oncology specific Regulatory and Biometrics groups.

You'll be in a global pharmaceutical environment but also exposed to strong rigorous academic science. For example, every postdoc has an external academic mentor to ensure we are working and publishing at the highest level in a field. 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.

At AstraZeneca we believe in the potential of our people and you'll develop beyond what you thought possible. We make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you to see what you can achieve. We need great people who share our passion for science and have the drive and determination to meet the unmet needs of patients around the world. If you're curious about what science can do, then you're our kind of person.

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 the Postdoc will update and seek input from the group at regular project meetings, and will present the research to the wider community of AstraZeneca computational chemists, postdoc groups, and the senior leadership team, as well. You'll further be responsible for the planning and writing of manuscripts reporting their results, aiming for high-impact journals.

Education and Experience required:


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, working experience with molecular modelling based on cryo-EM density maps.


Experience with programming languages, such as python and C.

Skills and Capabilities required:
  • Scientific independence, with excellent time management skills, professionalism in the workplace, forward planning and delivery focus.
  • Working experience of molecular modelling based on cryo-EM density maps.
  • Molecular dynamics and enhanced sampling techniques with large protein systems.
  • 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 Waltham, US with a competitive salary on offer. To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

AstraZeneca welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca 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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