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Structural and Functional Studies of Glycosyltransferases

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

The Samara lab at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the NIH is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join our new group. Our lab uses structural and biochemical methods to study the function of glycosyltransferases that synthesize the polysaccharides involved in the modulation of the host-microbe interface.

One project in the lab is to understand how a family of enzymes called UDP-GalNAc:polypeptide N-Acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Ts) modify substrates. GalNAc-Ts initiate the first step in mucin-type O-glycosylation that is critical for the protective properties of mucus and host-microbe interactions at epithelial surfaces. Recent studies done in collaboration with the Tabak and Ten Hagen labs (Ji et al., Nat Commun, 2018 and Fernandez et al., PNAS, 2019) have described the structural mechanisms that underlie the substrate specificities of these enzymes. A second project in the lab centers on bacterial glycosyltransferases that synthesize polysaccharide based virulence factors such as capsular polysaccharide (CPS), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and exopolysaccharides (EPS) in biofilm. Understanding how bacterial glycosyltransferases synthesize glycan structures at atomic resolution will provide insight into targeting and inhibiting these enzymes in the treatment of bacterial infections.

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We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences, strong verbal and writing skills, and experience in structural biology and biochemistry. Knowledge and experience in the purification and structural biology of membrane proteins is a plus. Salary is commensurate with research experience and accomplishments.

To Apply:

Please submit your CV, bibliography, a brief statement of research interests, and the names of 3 references to: Nadine Samara, Ph.D. ( 

NIH/NIDCR is dedicated to building an inclusive and diverse community in its training and employment programs. Individuals from underrepresented ​racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH/NIDCR employment. DHHS and NIH are equal opportunity employers.