Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Chemical Biology

The University of Queensland

  • Institute for Molecular Bioscience

  • Academic level A

  • Fixed-term position for up to December 2023

  • Closing date Thursday 23rd of February 2023 at 11.00pm AEST

  • UQ Careers: R-21431

About This Opportunity  

The Neuropeptide Research Lab ( ) at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience is focused on the exploration of Nature’s biodiversity to develop advanced molecular probes and to discover novel therapeutic leads with applications in pain, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

We are currently looking for a talented postdoctoral fellow to work on an ARC-funded project on developing the next-generation of peptide-based blood-brain barrier shuttles. The successful applicant will be using cell-based blood-brain barrier assays, mass spectrometry for lead discovery, peptide and medicinal chemistry for lead optimisation and pharmacology to investigate the mechanism of actions.

At this level it is expected that the incumbent will contribute to service and engagement roles and activities. The position will report to Associate Professor Markus Muttenthaler.

Key responsibilities include:  

1. Research

  • Develop a coherent research program and produce high quality research outputs

  • Establish and optimise cell-based blood brain barrier assays for ligand discovery

  • Synthesise peptides, molecular probes and synthetic building blocks

  • Characterise bioactive peptides using pharmacological and biophysical techniques

  • Carry out structure-activity relationship studies and drive discovery and target validation

  • Work with colleagues to develop joint research projects

  • Participate in applications for research funding

  • Prepare research publications, progress reports, and oral presentations and participate in regular meetings to discuss project objectives, methodology and outcomes.

2. Supervision and Researcher Development

  • Contribute to the supervision of Honours and Higher Degree by Research students

  • Work to promptly resolve conflict and grievances when they arise in accordance with University policy and procedures

  • As appropriate, manage research support staff effectively throughout the employee lifecycle in accordance with University policy and procedures.

3. Citizenship and Service

  • Demonstrate citizenship behaviours that align to UQ values.

  • Show leadership and active participation in priority activities for the larger team

  • Provide support as needed during other team members absences

  • Contribute to internal service roles and administrative processes as required

  • Collaborate in service activities external to the immediate organisation unit.

  • Begin to develop external links and partnerships by cultivating relationships with industry, government departments, professional bodies and the wider community

4. Other

Ensure that you are aware of and comply with legislation and University policy relevant to the duties undertaken, including but not exclusive to:

  • The University’s Code of Conduct .

  • Requirements of the Queensland occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation and related OH&S responsibilities and procedures developed by the University or Institute/School.

  • The adoption of sustainable practices in all work activities and compliance with associated legislation and related University sustainability responsibilities and procedures .

  • Requirements of the Education Services  for Overseas Students Act 2000, the National Code 2007 and associated legislation, and related responsibilities and procedures developed by the University.

About You  

  • PhD in the areas of Chemical Biology, Synthetic/Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology or Biochemistry

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct meaningful research in the following areas:

    • cell-based assays, cell culture, molecular biology and pharmacology

    • peptide chemistry and ligand characterisation (MS, HPLC, NMR, CD)

    • structure-activity relationship studies

  • Experience in the following research areas is desired:

    • blood-brain barrier models and assays

    • venom discovery research

    • peptide structure determination, modelling, alpha-fold, bioinformatics

  • Evidence of publications in reputed refereed journals and conference presentations

  • Well-developed laboratory, communication and interpersonal skills to collaboratively work with colleagues from different backgrounds and meet project objectives and deadlines

What We Can Offer 

This is a Full-time, 100% FTE Fixed-term position until December 2023 at Academic Level A. 

The full-time equivalent base salary will be in the range of $74,308.68 to $99,426.59 plus super of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be in the range of $86,941.16 to $116,329.11 per annum. 

For further information about UQ’s benefits, please visit Why Work at UQ and review The University of Queensland’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement 2018 – 2021 . 


To discuss this role please contact A/Prof. Markus Muttenthaler [email protected]

For application queries, please contact [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject line. 

Want to Apply? 

All applicants must upload the following documents for your application to be considered:

  • Cover letter and CV

  • Statement addressing the ‘About You’ section

  • Two reference contacts

Please note that you will be asked to add all documents into the one upload box labelled ‘resume’, which is step one of the application form.

About the Selection Process 

To satisfy pre-requisite questions and ensure your application can be considered in full, all candidates must apply via the UQ Careers portal by the job closing deadline, or their application will not be accepted. 

Other Information 

Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship may be available for this appointment.  

Background ChecksAll final applicants for this position may be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Please note that people with criminal records are not automatically barred from applying for this position. Each application will be considered on its merits.

At UQ we know that our greatest strengths come from our diverse mix of colleagues, this is reflected in our ongoing commitment to creating an environment focused on equity, diversity and inclusion .  We ensure that we are always attracting, retaining and promoting colleagues who are representative of the diversity in our broader community, whether that be  gender identityLGBTQIA+cultural and/or linguisticAboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples , or  people with a disability . Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to  [email protected]  

If you are a current employee of the University, or hold an unpaid or affiliate appointment with the University, please login to your staff Workday account and visit the internal careers board to apply for this opportunity. Please do NOT apply via the external job board.

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