04/05/2021
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-PF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Physical Chemistry

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  • OFFER DEADLINE
    01/09/2021 13:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    HE / MSCA
  • LOCATION
    Spain, Granada
  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    International Research Projects Office
  • DEPARTMENT
    Promotion and Advisory Unit
  • LABORATORY
    NA

Professo Francisco Conejero-Lara from the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) in 2021 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the MobilityJulio SantiagoJulio SantiagoRule (more information about the 2020 call: http://sl.ugr.es/0aNV, the 2021 call is not yet open).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. With over 60.000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 6.000 staff. UGR offers a total of 89 degrees, 110 master’s degrees and 28 doctoral programmes through its 123 departments and 27 centers. Consequently, the UGR offers one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of higher education programmes in Spain.

The UGR has awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the UGR’s commitment to continuously improve its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) (http://sl.ugr.es/0bsW). The UGR is amongst the 201-300 first universities of the world, between 2nd-5th position of Spanish universities and number 1 in the Andalusian Region in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking. Specialties at UGR that stand out are Library & Information Science (position 32) and Food Science & Technology (position 36). Moreover, the UGR is also situated amongst the first 100 universities in Mining & Mineral Engineering between (76th-100th position), in Mathematics (between 76th-100th position) and in Hospitality & Tourism Management (between 76th-100th position). The edition of the ARWU places the UGR in 201-300th position in the world and as the 4th highest ranked University in Spain, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research.

Additionally, the UGR has 8 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in Computer Sciences & Engineering (position 101-150). It is also well recognized for its web presence (http://sl.ugr.es/0a6i), being positioned at 43th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe.

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 67 projects, with total funding of 18.029 million euros, and for H2020, 118 projects with total funding around 29.115 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group:

The supervisor is member of the research group “Biophysics and Molecular Biotechnology” of the Department of Physical Chemistry of the University of Granada (UGR). The group also belongs to the Institute of Biotechnology and to the Excellence Unit in Chemistry applied to Biomedicine and Environment of the UGR, in which it has strong synergies with other research groups and has access to advanced technologies in chemical research. The group has a longstanding trajectory in protein research mainly from a biophysical point of view. It is specialized in the study of protein folding and stability, protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions, aggregation and amyloid fibrillation, as well as protein engineering and biomolecular design. It employs a great variety of biophysical and biochemical techniques, with a strong emphasis in obtaining a rigorous a structural and thermodynamic characterization of the processes studied using multidisciplinary approaches. The techniques available in the lab include microcalorimetry (both ITC and DSC), CD, FTIR, fluorescence, DLS, thermophoresis, stopped-flow kinetic instruments, as well as protein expression and purification infrastructure. It has also access to the UGR’s scientific facilities including high-field NMR, mass spectrometry, electron microscopy (TEM, SEM) and AFM. The group has also a large number of collaborations with other institutions and universities. The applicant will find a rich, dynamic and collaborative environment to evolve scientifically and develop his/her new projects with success.

Project description:

 

The applicant will join current research projects related to design and engineering of protein antivirals. These challenging projects are aimed to develop a new generation of protein-based therapeutics targeted against the fusion machineries of retroviruses such as HIV-1 and SARS-cov-2. These enveloped viruses use their fusion glycoproteins (Env in HIV-1 and the Spike S protein in SARS-cov-2) to attach to the target cells and infect them by fusing their membranes with the cell membrane and thereby inserting their genetic material. Blocking this process is a promising strategy to inhibit viral infection. Our approach consists in the design of artificial proteins that can strongly interact with the viral fusion proteins and interfere with the process of membrane fusion. To do this, we are designing small, single-chain proteins that structurally mimic certain fragments of the fusion proteins so that the can compete with their internal interactions and block the conformational changes that drive membrane fusion. We have already been successful in obtaining a series of proteins that strongly inhibit cell infection by a broad variety of HIV-1 strains. We proteins are extremely stable, highly soluble and very easy to produce by standard recombinant methods and have a strong potential to become develop as antivirals or microbicides. We are currently extending this approach to develop SARS-cov-2 inhibitors. Our group would strongly benefit from the incorporation of a highly talented researcher that can provide innovative ideas and approaches.

References:

Crespillo et al. 2014. PNAS 111, 18207

Jurado el al. 2019. J. Mol. Biol. 431, 3091

Jurado et al. 2020. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 688, 108401

Jurado el al. 2020. J. Mol. Biol. 432, 5577

Cano-Muñoz et al. 2021 Biomolecules 11, 566

Research Area:

  • Chemistry (CHE)
  • Life Sciences (LIFE)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Francisco Conejero-Lara (conejero@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)

Disclaimer:

The responsibility for the hosting offers published on this website, including the hosting description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.