Post-doc for paramagnetic NMR on enzymes

Two-year post-doc position

to work on paramagnetic NMR on enzymes and enzyme – ligand interactions

at Leiden University, the Netherlands



Paramagnetic tags are excellent tools to study protein structure, dynamics and interactions with ligand. For this purpose we have developed double-armed lanthanoid tags at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry. A position for a post-doctoral researcher is available to apply these tags using solution state NMR spectroscopy in the study of enzymes and ligands, contributing to two research lines.
Line (1) Conformational changes in enzymes related to evolutionary changes: Paramagnetic NMR will be used to determine the structural changes in the solution state when the enzyme assumes a second conformation, employing and developing the newest paramagnetic methods, such as paramagnetic relaxation dispersion.
Line (2) Conformation of ligands bound to active site: Substrates and inhibitors that bind to an enzyme are often forced in a certain conformation that resembles the transition state. This project aims to use paramagnetic tags to determine the conformations of site-selectively labelled ligands bound in the active site, using a combination of pseudocontact shifts, paramagnetic residual dipolar couplings and Curie cross-correlated relaxation effects, obtained at multiple field strengths, including 1.2 GHz. This is a new approach requiring the development of methods to model the conformation inside an enzyme based on these experimental inputs.


Work and profile
You will be responsible for running research projects independently, in collaboration with the group leader. You will be able to deepen your understanding of (paramagnetic) NMR on proteins.

  • You hold a PhD in protein NMR spectroscopy.
  • Experience with or knowledge of paramagnetic NMR is an advantage.
  • Affinity with programming and modelling (of protein-ligand interactions) is required.
  • Excellent communication skills in English are also required.


Description of organisation and terms of employment
This position will be embedded in the Macromolecular Biochemistry group at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry. The Institute houses seven NMR spectrometers, including 600 and 850 MHz bioNMR spectrometers. The uNMR-NL consortium is funded by the NWO program “National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities” and provides access to ultra-high field NMR instrumentation. Its core partners are four universities (UU, LU, WUR and RU) together with the public-private organisation COAST. Associate partners develop and apply high-field medical imaging at the four medical centers.


The chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is organized around two major research areas: ‘Chemical Biology’ and ‘Energy & Sustainability’. The institute’s research themes illustrate the central position of chemistry between biology, medicine and physics. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research.


The position can start by 1st of February 2024. We offer a position for 12 months, which can be extended upon satisfactory performance for another 12 months. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 3.226,- to € 5090,- gross per month, depending on experience (pay scale 10).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions.


The Faculty of Science at Leiden University is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelors’ and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.


Leiden University is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. Thanks to its committed and inspired employees, the university enjoys a leading role in academic research and education. Leiden also scores very well every year in prominent rankings. This means that, to maintain our position, the bar is set very high. Regardless of the work you do at our university, you are always encouraged to broaden your horizons, develop your talents and reach your full potential. Will you become our newest colleague?


Do you have questions about this position? Please contact Prof. Marcellus Ubbink (group leader)


Are you enthusiastic about this vacancy? We are looking forward to get to know you. You can apply until January 16th, 2024 using the link below.