1. UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO Te Whare Wananga o Otago
      2. INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. PRIME FUNCTION
      5. MAIN OBJECTIVES
      6. KEY TASKS
      7. RELATIONSHIPS
      8. BUDGETARY RESPONSIBILITY
      9. PERSON SPECIFICATION

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1400389
UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO
Te Whare Wananga o Otago
INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES
for appointment as
Assistant Research Fellow
JOB TITLE:
Assistant Research Fellow
DEPARTMENT:
Sir John Walsh Research Institute (SJWRI), School of Dentistry
DIVISION:
Health Sciences
BACKGROUND
Fungal infections can reduce agricultural productivity and threaten global food supply. The
fungistatic triazoles are among the most widely-used agrochemicals. Their lack of fungicidal activity
can lead to genetically-determined drug resistance involving the triazole target lanosterol 14
?
-
demethylase (Erg11p). We recently crystallized and structurally resolved Erg11p from the model
yeast
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
and have been funded to undertake a 2 year research project that will
use structural information to drive the discovery of novel inhibitors of the Erg11ps of fungal
pathogens of plants.
Specific objectives of the project will be to:
1. Aid drug discovery by probing the enzymatic mechanism of
S. cerevisiae
Erg11p and the
homologous enzyme of plant fungal pathogens.
2. Improve pharmacophore design by resolving crystal structures of Erg11p from key plant
fungal pathogens.
3. Develop whole cell and
in vitro
screens to identify novel broad-spectrum inhibitors specific
for fungal Erg11ps.
4. Identify broad-spectrum non-triazole fungicides using structure-directed drug design.
PRIME FUNCTION
To provide quality research and technical expertise to the research team investigating lanosterol 14
?
-
demethylase structure and function and identifying novel antifungals. To assist the project principal
investigator Dr Brian Monk achieve the objectives of the project.
MAIN OBJECTIVES
?
To undertake research according to the stated goals of the project, and to maintain a clearly
written, well documented, and indexed laboratory notebook.
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To attend laboratory meetings and present experimental results in these meetings, where
appropriate.
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To prepare results for analysis and publication in journals or at conferences.

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To regularly report to Dr Monk, at a frequency to be negotiated, on the progress of the assigned
experiments.
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To ensure the laboratory facilities, research space and equipment required for the project are
utilised correctly.
?
To assist staff in the Molecular Biosciences Laboratory with the training of undergraduate
students, as necessary.
KEY TASKS
?
To undertake experiments in order to clone genes of interest, to purify membrane proteins for
structural and functional analysis and to use yeast strains to screen compound libraries for drug
target inhibitors.
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To contribute to the general running of the Molecular Biosciences Laboratory and perform other
tasks as requested.
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To keep appropriate records.
RELATIONSHIPS
Overall responsibility to:
Head of The Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Professor
Jules Kieser.
Directly responsible to:
Principal Investigator Dr Brian Monk, and project co-
investigators.
Functional relationships with:
Staff of the Department of Oral Sciences, the SJWRI, the
School of Dentistry and other researchers and students in the
Molecular Biossciences Laboratory.
BUDGETARY RESPONSIBILITY
N/A.
PERSON SPECIFICATION
The appointee should have:
?
BSc Honours or a masters degree in biochemistry, molecular biology or microbiology or practical
laboratory experience in these disciplines.
?
High motivation towards undertaking quality research.
?
Good record keeping skills.
?
Good oral and written communication skills.
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The ability to work as a member of a team.

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