Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A postdoctoral position is available immediately in the laboratory of George Ordal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study the role of proteins and their interactions during chemotaxis in the Gram positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis.
Background and Research Program: Binding of attractant molecules
to an array of membrane or cytoplasmic receptors, causes activation of
a kinase to phosphorylate itself. The main response regulator then becomes
phosphorylated and binds to a complex of switch proteins to cause counterclockwise
rotation of the flagella so that the bacteria will tend to continue forward
motion toward higher concentrations of attractant. However, immediately,
several processes are set in motion to extinguish the excitatory signal
(that is, dephosphorylate the main response regulator) and to stop activation
of the kinase ("adaptation"). In B. subtilis both processes
involve unique proteins that are not found in the well-studied paradigm
organism, Escherichia coli, but that are found in many archaea and other
bacteria. Genomic analysis indicates that the B. subtilis mechanism may
be similar to that found in the ancestral organism that existed shortly
before the separation of the bacteria and the archaea in early evolutionary
time and thus might be a useful paradigm mechanism for understanding where
present-day mechanisms in many bacteria and archaea came from.
Potential projects include investigating structure and function of receptor
complexes with kinases and coupling proteins, modeling of chemotactic
responses based on quantitating binding constants, kinetic constants,
and amounts of respective chemotaxis proteins, and exploring interacting
surfaces of proteins that bind each other and the effect of altering these
Location: The laboratory is located in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a world-class research university. Urbana-Champaign is a charming college town in central Illinois with an easy lifestyle, low cost of living, and many cultural amenities. It is located within driving distance of Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.
Qualifications: Doctoral degree and research experience in biochemistry, molecular biology, or microbiology. Address letters of inquiry, accompanied by a full CV and list of the names and contact information for three references, to:
George W. Ordal, Ph.D.
E-mail contact is welcome. My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information, see the Ordal lab site: http://www.life.uiuc.edu/ordal/index.htm