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Principal Scientist - Structural Biology

Southern Research
Irondale, Alabama, US
Closing date
Jun 16, 2023

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time

General Summary

Southern Research is seeking a Ph.D. level scientist with a passion for drug discovery, protein biochemistry, and structural determination of therapeutically relevant targets. This individual will accelerate our drug discovery pipeline through protein expression, purification, characterization, X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM. Experience in structural characterization of membrane proteins would be preferred. Southern Research has resources for enabling both crystallographic and cryo-EM (Tecnai F20 with Gatan K2 direct electron detector) structure determination through the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to build a structural biology team to work with a highly collaborative group of chemists, computational scientists and biologists.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Plans, designs, initiates and directs internal research programs for in-house or external studies using high-throughput screening, X-ray crystallography, Cryo-EM, and other biophysical methods.
  • Acts as organization's subject matter expert in the area of structural biology and x-ray crystallography.
  • Coordinates these activities with members from Biology, Chemistry, and various project teams.
  • Collaborates with computational chemists and the chemistry and biology teams utilizing solved structures for rational design and SAR study of lead molecules.
  • Extensive participation and leadership of project teams that focus on the generation of chemical matter for a target and the development and selection of clinical candidates.
  • Cultivates collaborations within SR and throughout the UAB research community.
  • Develops an externally supported research program to help support the growth of the x-ray crystallography and protein purification laboratory.
  • Observes appropriate safety and study requirements by reading, understanding and following appropriate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Requirements/Minimum Qualifications
  • PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, or related discipline plus at least 15 years of relevant experience.
  • Experience using state-of-the-art protein expression and characterization methods (e.g. NMR, ITC, thermal shift)
  • Experience with structure determination of small molecule: protein; preferably membrane protein and of macro molecular complexes
  • Ability to effectively communicate and collaborate across multiple scientific disciplines.
  • Experience with complex problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of multiple factors
  • Exercise judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results
  • Ability to determine approaches and procedures to new assignments and must be capable of providing guidance to peers.

Work Environment & Conditions

This position is a laboratory environment and requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) including:
  • Safety glasses
  • Laboratory coats
  • Nitrile and latex gloves (varies based on tasks)

Physical Demands
  • Ability to perform work utilizing a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time without being able to leave the work area.

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