Researcher (senior postdoc) in spatial proteomics and eukaryote evolution

Uppsala University

Application deadline

November 3, 2022

Researcher (senior postdoc) in spatial proteomics and eukaryote evolution

Uppsala University, Department of Organismal Biology (Evolutionary Biology Center)

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The Department of Organismal Biology teaches and explores the evolution, development and function on the organismal level. For more information see  

The position is placed in the research group of Fabien Burki ( within the Systematic Biology program at the Department of Organismal Biology (Evolutionary Biology Center, Uppsala University). In the Burki lab, we study the broad diversity of eukaryotes, which is mainly microbial, to understand some of the main transitions in broad eukaryote evolution such as the origin of plastids.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

Project description
The Burki lab was recently awarded an ERC Consolidator grant (PlastidOrigin) that aims to study one of the most transformative events in eukaryote evolution–the origin of the photosynthetic organelles (the primary plastids) in Archaeplastida. The main aim of this postdoc/researcher position is to produce the first plastid proteomes for red algae using whole-cell spatial proteomics with the hyperLOPIT method (or alternatively LOPIT-DC). By combining this data to verified proteomes for other archaeplastids, and by searching for homologues in other eukaryotes and prokaryotes, we want to characterize the origin of plastid proteins and the size of the endosymbiotic vs non-endosymbiotic plastid proteomic fractions across archaeplastids. Depending on the expertise of the candidate, a training period may be organised abroad.

Establish the knowledge and workflow to run proteomic experiments in the lab in collaboration with a local proteomic core facility. Adapt hyperLOPIT to red algae. Bring red algal cultures to sufficient densities, and execute hyperLOPIT. Perform protein cellular location prediction by Machine Learning. Analyse the data in the context of plastid evolution. Disseminate results in appropriate formats, including leading peer-reviewed publications and conferences. Training of junior group members might also be involved, as well as other standard tasks related to a research group including providing operational support to the good functioning of the lab. The candidate should be willing to travel, for short (e.g. conference) or longer period if training is necessary.

PhD in Biology, Chemistry or equivalent. We are looking for an enthusiastic individual with the desire to share and establish a novel methodology in the Burki lab. The successful candidate will have a strong record, appropriate for their career stage, of high-quality research publications. Great emphasis is placed on personal qualities such as high-motivation, planning and organizational skills, problem solving, stress management. We strive to create a friendly atmosphere among team-members and other employees in the work place, so a collegiate capacity to work as part of a team is necessary.

For this position, a proven experience in mass spectrometry and proteomics is absolutely essential, and must be demonstrated by scientific publications in these fields. A keen interest in evolution, especially in big transitions in eukaryote evolution such as the origin of plastids, is a desirable attribute of the candidates. The candidate should be proficient on the command line and R to perform quantification and statistical analysis, as well as have a good knowledge of at least one scripting language (eg Python). Proficiency in English, both oral and in writing, is required.

Additional qualifications
Prior knowledge on subcellular fractionation methods and on hyperLOPIT or LOPIT-DC will be seen as major quality. Prior experience in cell culturing, especially algae, will be a strong asset.

About the employment
The employment is a permanent position, probationary period may be applied. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 2023-01-01 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

For further information about the position, please contact: Fabien Burki, +46 18 471 2779,

Please submit your application by the 3rd of November 2022, UFV-PA 2022/3361.

Last updated: 2022-10-04

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