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Academic leader in Cryo-EM at University of Auckland

Associate Professor/ Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences and Molecular Imaging (Cryogenic Electron Microscopy)

This newly created, continuing role is being appointed at a time of increased investment and developments in cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) at University of Auckland (UoA  www.auckland.ac.nz ) and throughout the Australasian region. This new role will help build the University’s capacity and leadership in molecular imaging for research in biological sciences, as part of multidisciplinary approaches to research problems aligned with strategic funding priorities.

About the Faculty of Science and biological sciences at UoA

The Faculty of Science is the leading science faculty in New Zealand and one of the largest in Australasia, sitting comfortably within the top echelon of science faculties world-wide. The Faculty has genuinely world-class research strengths across the biological and life sciences, physical sciences and computational sciences. As one of the world’s top Schools of Biological Sciences, the School at UoA (SBS) is distinguished by creativity in research.

About the appointment

Cryo-EM is a strategic development priority at SBS and for the university. The university has committed to upgrade the detectors on the current cryo-EM installation (Tecnai FEG20 200kV cryo-TEM, expected delivery 2019-20) to be housed in a new, multi-disciplinary Horizon facility. Investments to develop Cryo-EM at UoA, in addition to this role, comprise appointing a research fellow, a new Cryo-EM unit manager, and upgrade to the Cryo-EM facility. This role can help direct the design of the Cryo-EM suite within the new purpose-built Horizon building design.


The university is looking to appoint a Senior Lecturer or Associate Professor (potentially at full professor for an exceptional candidate) to lead the next generation of Cryo-EM for research across the research community. The incumbent will drive the program on a practical, technical level, and will have strong technical background in Cryo-EM and/or expertise in crystallography.

This new appointment will help develop a research program utilising Cryo-EM, and to develop the wider adoption and use of the technique in biological sciences at UoA, to realise opportunities for research collaborations across structural biology, medicine, materials science and engineering. The ideal candidate is either experienced in Cryo-EM, with passion and competency centred in the technique, or can develop their work to take advantage of the technique. In either case, the right candidate is a researcher who can engage and collaborate broadly.

Techniques currently supported

The imaging centre at SBS specialises in transmission electron microscopy, light microscopy (including live cell imaging). The electron microscopy equipment includes a broad range of preparation facilities for conventional and frozen samples (on top of the microscopes themselves). Other equipment at the centre includes:

  • FEI Tecnai 12, Philips CM12
  • light microscopes and/or Revolution spinning disc,
  • fluorescence microscopes,
  • Leica LMD6000 Laser microdissection system
  • histology equipment

Collaboration opportunities

SBS researchers collaborate with Maurice Wilkins Centre, a national centre of Research Excellence targeting serious human disease http://www.mauricewilkinscentre.org/.  The Centre is conveniently co-located on campus. SBS researchers also have access to high end equipment and researchers nearby within the region, including the Monash Ramaciotti Centre for Cryo-EM and Australian Synchrotron, a world class national research facility which has 10 different experimental stations to support a broad range of high quality research. http://www.synchrotron.org.au/

Currently in SBS, around 30 researchers do x-ray crystallography. The appointed candidate will drive the adoption of CryoEM by biologists in SBS and to realise the many collaboration opportunities across the university and region. Across the university, there is potential to work with food science, wine science, new materials, green chemists and materials sciences researchers who see the potential of Cryo-EM.

The right candidate

Applications are invited from strong researchers in biological sciences who are experienced in the use of molecular imaging in research that is nationally-significant and globally recognised, and who bring the demonstrated ability to pursue research in a multi-disciplinary and collaborative manner.

About the process

To obtain full details, prospective candidates should contact the search firm assisting the University, via email to UoA_Cryo@desailly.com.au

Full applications addressing the selection criteria and nominating referees must be submitted to the email address above. The official close date is 13 July, but interested applicants are encouraged to have a confidential discussion prior to submission.