Open Positions

Group size and composition

The research group consists of about 8-10 PhD students, 5-6 postdocs, and 3 senior research associates. Nearly two thirds of the group
members work on computational projects while about six to eight members do research in the experimental laboratory (protein production, biochemical and biophysical assays to measure binding, protein crystallography). The background of the
group members ranges from Master in Mathematics to Master in Cellular Biology.


Master theses in experimental biochemistry/biophysics

We currently have openings for master thesis work in the experimental part of the lab. You can find the details by following this link:
UZH official announcement


Postdoc opening in medicinal chemistry

Description

We are currently seeking an experienced medicinal chemist to support our successful program on drug discovery funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Cancer Society. The project focuses on developing small molecule binders of epitranscriptomic writers and readers to study their biological functions and as potential anticancer therapies. For example, the methyltransferase METTL3 is the writer enzyme of the N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of RNA, and its deregulation is associated with many cancer types. Using a structure-based drug discovery approach, we have solved nearly 50 crystal structures of METTL3 in complex with small-molecule inhibitors some of which show low nanomolar potency (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.25.311803v3).

The postdoctoral scientist will lead the synthetic chemistry and medicinal chemistry activities. The successful candidate will join a highly interdisciplinary team involving computational scientists, biochemists, structural biologists, and cell biologists to work on a number of projects related to epitranscriptomic targets.
The duties involve (but are not limited to):

  • Synthesis of selective inhibitors of various epitranscriptomic targets
  • Biochemical characterization of compounds originating from medicinal chemistry program
  • Responsibility for running the chemical laboratory
  • Training and supervision of junior group members in chemical experiments
  • Writing scientific papers and grants

Qualifications

We seek an enthusiastic individual with the ability and interest to work both highly independently and in a team. In addition to relevant experience in medicinal chemistry (obtained during the PhD), the candidate should have excellent communication skills.

We offer

We offer a 3-year postdoc position (12-month contract initially).
Our drug discovery research program combines an international research environment with access to state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure (e.g., monthly shift to collect diffraction data at the Swiss-Light-Source synchrotron). Our alumni value their comprehensive training: approximately 30% of them take a tenure track group leader or Assistant Professorship position, with the vast majority of the remainder finding employment in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries. We are an inclusive work environment that values openness and diversity among our co-workers and offers flexible employment conditions.

Starting date

Spring 2021

Application

Applications should consist of a single pdf file containing a cover letter, research summary of past accomplishments, max of 2-page CV (résumé), and at least one letter of support, or the names and e-mail address of two previous supervisors (e.g., PhD advisor and co-advisor). Please send the single pdf file to Dr. Elena Omori e [dot] omori [at] bioc [dot] uzh [dot] ch
In the email subject, please mention specifically this position: “Medicinal Chemist”.

Prof. Amedeo Caflisch

Director


General information for PhD and postdoc positions

Applications to join our group are ALWAYS welcome from outstanding and enthusiastic Ph.D. and postdoctoral candidates. We offer a stimulating research environment at a highly ranked department within a university of excellent international standing. The quality of life in Zurich and in Switzerland in general is outstanding and well-documented by popular rankings.

There are frequently open positions in the laboratory and the best is to inquire. All our research projects are aimed at studying biological macromolecular systems. Current focus areas are situated in pathogenic protein aggregation and cancer therapeutics with a focus on epitranscriptomics (m6A-RNA) and epigenetics (bromodomains). Various projects have a strong component of methodology development while others require the application of existing approaches. Possible subjects include using molecular dynamics simulations to understand peptide aggregation and peptide-protein binding, the characterization of small molecule binding to macromolecules by simulations and experiments, the development of new ligands for therapeutically relevant targets by docking or de novo ligand design, and the development of new methods and models for classical biomolecular simulations. Applicants should preferably hold a Masters or Ph.D. degree in physics, mathematics, biophysics, chemistry, or biochemistry. We also perform experiments, specifically protein expression and purification, crystallography and a number of in vitro binding and functional assays such as time-resolved FRET and isothermal titration calorimetry. For computational applicants in particular, programming skills and a familiarity with the Linux operating system are highly advantageous.  Individuals interested in applying for a PhD or postdoc position should submit a letter of application, resume, and the names of three professional references to Prof. A. Caflisch: caflisch[at]bioc.uzh.ch

The full application should consist of a single pdf file with all documents.
Please refer to the contact page for how to reach us or contact us by phone or postal mail.