QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG) at UCSF is seeking motivated scientists of different backgrounds (biochemistry, structural biology [wet lab and computational], virology, chemistry, and proteomics) who are interested in understanding virus pathogenesis and are excited to impact disease by developing antiviral therapeutics.
We have multiple staff scientists and postdoctoral fellow positions open. We welcome all levels (minimum requirement is a BS degree for junior positions, and a PhD degree plus experience for more senior positions). These positions are fully funded for an initial 3 years, with a 2-year extension, as part of the $67.5 million AViDD grant to UCSF. You will primarily work with and be supervised by one of the Principal Investigators in the QCRG.
The QCRG was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic to rapidly bring molecular understanding to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Over a very short period of time this effort not only led to major advancements in our understanding of the disease, but also demonstrated the power of highly collaborative academic work. The collaborative spirit combined with the world class facilities at UCSF enables experiments at the very forefront of what is currently feasible in each field and also pushes non linear conceptual thinking.
If you are interested in being exposed to cutting edge science and are excited about doing research in this new collaborative way, please view the open recruitment areas below.
As part of this grant we will be developing therapeutics against key viral proteins, including proteases, polymerases, methylases and others (see project descriptions for more details). We are looking for scientists to spearhead protein expression and purification, in vitro enzymatic assays and structural studies by x-ray crystallography, single particle cryoEM and cryoET. The investigators on this grant have a track record of scientific advancements in these areas and UCSF has world class x-ray crystallography, cryoEM, cryoET facilities. We have the capabilities for protein expression in multiple different hosts, from bacteria to mammalian cell culture followed by protein purification utilizing the latest affinity and other types of chromatography. Leveraging novel cryoEM grid technologies developed at UCSF will allow for visualization of ultra low yield protein targets. Multiple aspects of the workflow are open to automation.
If you are a synthetic organic chemist interested in computational and medicinal chemistry as applied to antiviral drug discovery, we have multiple postdoctoral openings that may interest you. You will work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team to identify therapeutic leads against key viral proteins, including proteases, polymerases, methylases and others. As a part of the MedChem Core you will use structure-based design and chemical synthesis to improve the potency and drug-like properties of antiviral lead compounds, with the long term goal of discovering advanced lead compounds and clinical development candidates.
The project and core investigators on this grant have a track record of success in these areas and UCSF has world class x-ray crystallography, cryoEM, and cryoET facilities that will support the efforts of the chemists in the MedChem Core. You will have access to a state-of-the art workstation for modelling and structure-based lead design, as well as modern high-throughput instrumentation for purification and separation of small molecule leads. The lead investigator and Director of the MedChem Core is UCSF Professor Adam Renslo, who has two decades of experience in anti-infectives drug discovery.
As part of this grant, we will be developing and applying structure-based methods for discovering ligands and therapeutics against key viral proteins, including proteases, polymerases, methylases and others. We therefore need scientists to spearhead development and application of computational methods to support studies by X-ray crystallography, single particle cryoEM, cryoET, proteomics, high-throughput screening, and other experimental methods. The investigators on this grant have a track record of scientific advancements in these areas, enabled in part by UCSF's world class computational facilities.
As part of this grant we will determine in vitro and in vivo efficacies as well as mechanism of action of lead compounds, developed against key viral proteins, using live virus assays and mouse models for SARS-CoV-2. This will include high-throughput live virus and subgenomic virological assays in cell lines and advanced primary cell models (e.g. 3D organoids). We will use and develop reverse genetics to determine how known and new mutations in viral proteins influence antiviral potency. The work involves testing of compounds but also deep mechanistic studies into SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and is highly interactive with members of QCRG at UCSF/ Gladstone and experienced investigators at multiple other locations associated with the grant.
The Arkin lab and Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC) at UCSF are seeking a highly collaborative biologist or biochemist with a passion for drug discovery and chemical biology. SMDC is a research collaboratory that works with UCSF and external researchers to develop chemical probes and drug leads using a variety of methods, including fragment-based drug discovery and high-throughput screening. When biomedical researchers at UCSF uncovers new potential targets for drug discovery, the SMDC works with them to develop chemical tools and drug leads to further understand and exploit these targets for human health. The SMDC serves as the Screening Core for the QCRG and will be helping multiple project teams find and characterize new starting points for small-molecule drug discovery. The successful applicant will design, optimize and conduct biophysical, biochemical and cell-based high-throughput screens for antiviral projects, analyze and upload screening data, and assist with compound library management. Scientists who enjoy working on diverse problems and thrive in a team-oriented, multi-disciplinary environment are ideally suited for this position.