Postdoctoral Researcher

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (US)
$50,000 - $74,999
May 05 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Cooperman laboratory (Penn Chemistry) seeks postdoctoral researcher for biochemical and biophysical studies of eukaryotic protein synthesis mechanisms.

Location: Chemistry Department, University of Pennsylvania,  Philadelphia, PA

Discipline:  Life Sciences (Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Drug discovery) Physical Sciences (Chemistry)

Job description and summary:

The Cooperman laboratory in the Chemistry Department of the University of Pennsylvania is seeking to recruit a postdoctoral student with a strong interest in understanding the mechanism and regulation of both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial eukaryotic protein synthesis. In the past several years we have developed a highly purified, eukaryotic cell-free protein synthesis system and used it to determine the kinetics of initiating polypeptide elongation in an IRES-dependent system (Zhang et al., Elife 2016 5:e13429), to measure the direct interaction of nonsense suppressor molecules with the protein synthesis machinery (Ng et al., ACS Med Chem Lett. 9:1285-1291), and to elucidate the mechanisms of elongation and termination and to differentiate between the mechanisms by which nonsense suppressors stimulate readthrough of nonsense codons (Ng et al., PNAS 2021 118, e2020599118). A new manuscript will shortly be submitted for publication that exploits RNA-Seq, photoaffinity labeling, and single molecule and ensemble kinetics to identify both the molecular targets and the precise mode of action of the only nonsense suppressor currently in clinical use. These efforts will continue with other nonsense suppressors and in collaboration with structural studies, providing the basis for using rational design to find new nonsense suppressors with improved clinical effectiveness. We have also begun new projects to determine how posttranscriptional modifications of mRNA and tRNA interact with one another in regulating elongation and termination, and in extending our studies to examine mitochondrial protein synthesis in detail.

The successful applicant should be mechanistically oriented with expertise in biochemical and molecular biological approaches.  Experience with steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetics is a plus.

Qualifications include a recent Ph.D. in biochemistry, chemical biology, molecular biology or a related field and a strong interest in protein synthesis. Applicant must have a strong work ethic, communication & organization skills, and a willingness to think about and learn new methodologies as the projects evolves.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and CV with contact information for three references to Barry Cooperman (

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