Job no: 517896
Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Science
Location: Blacksburg Area
Categories: Research / Scientific
The Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech is seeking a motivated postdoctoral associate for an NIH-funded, collaborative, chemical biology project to elucidate the mechanism of action of the antimalarial drug mefloquine. Malaria imposes an enormous burden on public health, particularly in Africa, and is responsible for nearly half a million deaths annually. Despite being used clinically for nearly 40 years, the target of mefloquine in the malaria parasite remains to be discovered. Target identification would have a major impact in the field of antimalarial drug discovery given the urgent need for a sustained drug development pipeline and the paucity of validated antimalarial targets.
Working in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Carlier, the postdoctoral associate will synthesize clickable, photoactivatable probes based on the mefloquine pharmacophore. Feasibility of probe synthesis has been established in a previous study (Ghavami et al (2016), Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 26 4846). On-target antimalarial activity of novel probes will be assessed in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Klemba (Department of Biochemistry) using phenotypic and parasite growth inhibition assays. Active probes will be deployed to covalently label and affinity purify therapeutically-relevant target proteins from cultured malaria parasites. Protein identification will be conducted in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Mass Spectrometry Incubator.
Duties and responsibilities:
• research activities (high degree of independence in the design and execution of experiments and analysis of data)
• maintain accurate records of laboratory activities
• assist with laboratory organization, management, and personnel training
• present results in lab meetings and at local and national scientific conferences
• follow and exhibit proper safety practices; contribute to the lab's safety culture
• a recent Ph.D. degree in chemistry
• a track record of publications in organic synthesis
• ability to organize duties and to work independently as well as within a research group
• effective communication skills
• experience with protein biochemistry or chemical proteomics
• demonstrated ability to maintain careful and organized records
• a demonstrated ability to work productively in a collaborative environment
The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check as well as documentation of COVID-19 vaccination or receive approval from the university for a vaccination exemption due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.
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