Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are short peptides produced by the innate immune system that represent a promising line of candidates for combating growing global antimicrobial resistance. Recent work has demonstrated the ability of the synthetic AMP GL13K to form non-amyloid beta-sheet aggregates on bacterial cell membranes and disrupt the cell, but the mechanism of action remains poorly understood at the molecular level. I seek a postdoctoral candidate to direct the performance of simulation-guided active learning for rational design and molecular-level understanding of GL13K-related AMPs. We will employ a deep learning technique called a variational autoencoder to transform the space of short peptides from a discrete combinatorial space—in terms of amino acid sequences—to a continuous latent space in which optimization is possible. Points of interest in the space will be identified with an active learning procedure such as Gaussian Process Regression and their quality assessed with multi-scale simulations of peptide interactions with eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane mimics to optimize for peptides that preferentially bind and disrupt prokaryotic membranes. The impact of this work will be the development of new AMPs and rational rules for AMP design to combat antibiotic-resistant microbes.
Academic qualifications required
PhD in Biophysics, Biochemistry, or related fields with significant experience in multi-scale membrane simulations; some experience with machine learning techniques is a big plus.
Applicants must not currently hold a postdoctoral appointment at Concordia
Priority will be given to postdoctoral fellows who have obtained their PhD from another university although in exceptional cases Concordia graduates may be considered
Please include the reference number with your application
One to three (1-3) page research statement demonstrating fit with the program described above
Current curriculum vitae demonstrating research excellence and a capacity for leadership in the domain (maximum 5 pages)
Two letters of reference from academic supervisors or current employers to be sent via e-mail directly to Ré Mansbach
The prestigious two-year Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowships are valued at $50,000 per year plus benefits and full access to Concordia’s services, including GradProSkills.
Concordia University is a vibrant research and teaching environment, with state-of-the-art research facilities and many research centers. Concordia is located in Montreal, Canada, a diverse and creative city, often ranked as offering one of the best quality of living experiences in North America.
Concordia University is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applications from women, Aboriginal Peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.