The objective of the DNA Replication Group is to discover new mechanisms in the initiation and elongation of DNA replication and to understand the function of replication factors in hetero-chromatin formation. We have recently reconstituted the loading of the eukaryotic replicative helicase onto DNA, an essential step in DNA replication and are now able to use this system to address the mechanism and regulation of two key events: the loading of the eukaryotic DNA helicase onto DNA and the kinase dependent activation of the helicase. More recently, we have also started to investigate the role of the helicase loading factors in epigenetic memory, which has important implications for human disease and ageing.
We are a friendly and motivated international group, currently expanding and looking for promising postgraduate students and postdocs. Applicants should consider how they would fit into the Group and what they would like to work on.
The lab performs creative mechanistic research addressing fundamental biological questions with medical relevance and employs a wide range of integrative biology approaches. Applicants with background in biochemistry, cryo-EM/structural biology, biophysics, yeast genetics/cell cycle, chromatin biochemistry or single-molecule approaches will be strongly considered. Applications should include the following:
- Cover letter indicating current and future research interests and expected date of availability
- Curriculum vitae (CV)
- Description of past research experience and accomplishments
- Names of three references
Send your application or any pre-application questions to Christian Speck.
Opportunities are tabbed below.
If you are interested in joining the Group as a postdoctoral fellow, please contact Christian Speck with a copy of your curriculum vitae and explaining your interest in a specific research area. Outstanding PhD students are encouraged to make contact as early as possible.
Funding can be obtained from a wide variety of sources, listed below. Candidates should contact Christian Speck to discuss possible projects and if they need help with their applications.
Australian Government Fellowships
Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowships
Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Fellowships
Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Korea Research Fellowship (KRF) Program
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI)
The Wellcome Trust
United State of America fellowships
National Science Foundation
Information regarding the application process
What are the requirements?
You need at least one good first author publication (impact factor > 5). More publications increase chances significantly. Chances for obtaining a fellowship are usually highest if you have just finished your PhD or if you have done one short postdoc.
Who is eligible?
Most fellowships require a change in location. If you have previously worked in the UK and plan to continue to work in the UK, you will be most likely NOT eligible for a fellowship.
How long does the process take?
The process of obtaining a fellowship takes about 6 months from the closing date. Depending on the fellowship, you will be informed after 3-5 months about the result. You may obtain bridging funding to start your work immediately.
Can I apply for more than one fellowship?
You can apply with the same project for as many fellowships as you like, but you may accept only one offer.
How do I write the project?
Potential candidates should contact Christian Speck to discuss possible projects.
What is important?
Plan ahead! Ideally, you want to contact your future lab 6 – 12 months before you plan to start your new job. Start your application early and read the application guidelines carefully.
The DNA Replication Group is considering to sponsor an excellent UK, European or international candidate for a fully-funded Imperial College PhD Scholarship. Please contact Christian Speck to discuss potential research proposals. Follow the link below for more information.
Please note that the Group currently hosts a President’s PhD scholar and cannot host another this year.
Project title: Developing advanced mass photometry methods for analysis of the multi-step helicase loading process
Lead supervisor: Christian Speck
Start date: October 2021
Duration: 3.5 years
Date posted: 12 November 2020
Closing date: 07 January 2021
The student will use and develop a novel single-molecule biophysical method (mass photometry) to investigate a key step in DNA replication, the loading of the replicative helicase on DNA, and explore this multi-step reaction in a time resolved manner. This work will address how DNA replication works and contribute to the development of helicase loading inhibitors as a potential anti-cancer therapy.
The project is a collaboration between Refeyn Ltd and the Imperial College London research groups of Christian Speck and David Rueda. Refeyn, a company based in Oxford, has recently developed and brought to market a breakthrough technology that measures the molecular weight of individual proteins and protein complexes by mass photometry. This revolutionary biophysical technique is highly-accurate, very fast, label-free and allows the use of native proteins.
The group of Christian Speck, which includes seven postdocs, three PhD students and two technicians, applies a range of biochemical, structural, proteomic and genetic/genomic approaches in order to investigate DNA replication and chromatin structure. The Group works in a highly collaborative way and provides PhD students with a multidisciplinary learning environment. Applicants that interested in genome stability and method development and have a good background in biochemistry or biophysics are strongly encouraged to apply.
Interested candidates can contact Christian Speck directly for more information.
Students interested in applying for external funding to join the DNA Replication Group should contact Christian Speck for an informal discussion. Please send your curriculum vitae and explain your interest in a specific research area.
Students interested in pursuing research in our group should contact Christian Speck about potential openings. Please send your curriculum vitae and explain your interest in a specific research area. European and international students must obtain independent funding through ERASMUS+ or a government bursary to cover their expenses.
There are no research assistant positions currently available.