Postdoc position available in the Berntsson lab

Postdoctoral fellowship to study Type 4 Secretion System

The Berntsson lab at the department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University, Sweden, is recruiting one postdoctoral fellow (2-year fellowship, 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 study the assembly and structure of the membrane channel of Gram-positive Type 4 Secretion Systems. Initial work on this project has already been done, with a focus on the individual components of the channel (see Jäger et al, 2020, bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/2020.10.30.342212), which we will now build upon. The project will involve molecular biology, biochemistry and structural biology techniques. For the electron microscopy part of the project, we have here at Umeå University access to a state-of-the-art facility containing (among others) a 300kV Titan Krios ( .


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 should preferably be experienced with (membrane) protein pull-downs and western blotting. Previous experience of working with Gram-positive bacteria, especially E. faecalis, and membrane proteins is an advantage. Previous experience of cryo electron microscopy (especially cryo electron tomography) is highly advantageous. The applicant 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 lab and 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. Copies 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 to use the subject line: “postdoc application 2021-02” in the application email. Submit the application on February 10, 2021 at the latest. The top ranked candidates will be contacted within three weeks from the closing date for an interview. Starting date according to agreement. For more information about the research or other details, please contact Dr. Ronnie Berntsson.