Postdoc position available in the Berntsson lab – study of adhesion proteins in G+ T4SSs

The Berntsson lab at the department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University, Sweden, is looking to recruit postdoctoral fellow (2-year fellowships, funded by the Kempe Foundation) to study the structural and functional aspects of Type 4 Secretion Systems. These large protein complexes are responsible for horizontal gene transfer between bacteria. As such, they facilitate the spread of, among other genes, antibiotic resistance between bacteria, both intra- and interspecies.

The overall goal of this project is to structurally and functionally characterize the adhesion proteins of G+ Type 4 Secretion Systems. These proteins are thought to be responsible for facilitating mating pair formation between the cells. We have the past years studied the T4SS from the pCF10 plasmid from Enterococcus faecalis, and we now understand the structural basis for how these cell-wall anchored proteins are involved both in biofilm formation and conjugation. However, there are numerous unanswered questions that we are still pursuing. The project will involve both functional assays in molecular biology, various biochemistry techniques (such as EMSAs and ITC) as well as protein structural determination via X-ray crystallography and/or single particle cryo EM. 


The applicants must possess a PhD, or another diploma deemed equivalent to a PhD, within molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology or a related field. Furthermore, the applicant must have practical experience and expertise of cloning and protein production and purification in bacteria. The applicant must also have practical experience with either protein X-ray crystallography or cryo Electron Microscopy. Previous experience of working with Gram-positive bacteria is a merit. The applicants must have a very good level of English, both written and spoken. The applicants are also expected to be good team players, but should also be able to work independently. 


The application should consist of the following:

  1. A motivation letter (max 1 A4), where you highlight why you want to join the laband study T4SSs. This letter must also include your contact information.
  2. The Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of published peer-reviewed articles.
  3. Copy of the PhD diploma (or equivalent).
  4. Contact details for three references, of which one should be your PhD supervisor.

The duration of the fellowship is 2 years. Your application should be written in English and prepared as a single package in PDF format, to be submitted to Make sure touse the subject line: “postdoc application 2019-08” in the application email.Submit the applicationon August 19th, 2019 at the latest. The top ranked candidates will be contacted within two weeks from the closing date for an interview. Starting date according to agreement. For more information about the research or other details, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ronnie Berntsson.