Regulation of membrane trafficking and signalling

REF: PD 16
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Hours of work:
37.5 hours per week (excluding lunch hours)
Annual leave:
24 days per annum plus statutory days
C/ Villarroel 170, 08036 BARCELONA
Accountable to:
Carlos Enrich
Up to 3 years, by IDIBAPS
38.000 € plus housing facilities


Job Summary

1. A postdoctoral position is available in Professor C Enrich laboratory. The position involves working with a team of scientists studying the role of cholesterol and actin-binding proteins in the regulation of membrane structure (lipid rafts) and intracellular trafficking of caveolin and the Ras/MAPK signalling pathway.

The programme is a continuation of work recently reviewed in BBA (Enrich et al BBA 2010, in press), which has provided a comprehensive evidence for the role of Annexin A6 in cholesterol-mediated rearrangement of membrane trafficking and also the impact in Ras/MAPK signalling.

Briefly, we recently showed that high endogenous Anx6 levels lead to a sequestration of cholesterol in late endosomes, thereby lowering cholesterol levels and the number of cholesterol-rich caveolae at the cell surface. In addition, we showed that Ca2+ stimulates rapid translocation of cytosolic Anx6 to endosomes, the plasma membrane and cholesterol-rich lipid rafts. 2-photon microscopy in Laurdan-labelled cells, identified that Anx6 translocates to cholesterol-poor (fluid) and –rich (condensed) domains at the plasma membrane and therefore inducing a significant restructuring of membrane lipids at the cell surface. We previously identified a stimulatory effect of Anx6 on receptor-mediated endocytosis and showed that Anx6 remains associated with internalized vesicles in early/late endosomes. Thus, Anx6 might coordinate the involvement of p120GAP and PKC in the regulation of EGFR and Ras at the plasma membrane and along the endocytic pathway.

The purpose of this programme of work will be:

1. Determine the role of cholesterol and actin in the regulation of membrane trafficking.

2. The project is likely to involve some or all of the following techniques:

  • Electron microscopy and super-resolution confocal microscopy.
  • Partial hepatectomies in AnxA6 ko mice to study the liver regeneration process, steatotic development and bile secretion.
  • Analysis of membrane structure by means of fluorescent lipidic probes (laurdan and di-4-ANEPPDHQ).
  • In vivo microscopy: migration assays and 3d-culture.

Main Duties

To conduct research investigating the impact of intracellular trafficking in diseases such as cancer.

Duties and Responsabilities

  • To contribute to the design and planning of experiments in relation to this project
  • To develop a thorough understanding of the research field and be involved in the intellectual decision making process required for successful completion of the project
  • To set up and run experiments in consultation with the Principal Investigator
  • To record, analyse and write up the results of experiments and ensure that laboratory notebooks are kept fully up to date as a formal record of the research
  • To prepare and present findings of research to the Principal Investigator and other members of the centre
  • To prepare progress reports on research
  • The post holder may be required to perform some limited teaching and/or supervision of other members of staff and/or students, under the guidance of the Principal Investigator
  • Responsible for ensuring that designated equipment is safe and maintained in good working order
  • As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the post holder
  • The post holder will carry out any other duties that are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, as requested by the Principal Investigator


Knowledge and Qualifications
  • Undergraduate degree in a life science discipline.
  • PhD in an appropriate life science discipline
  • Accredited knowledge and skills in Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • Proficiency in English language.
  • Research stay outside the country of residence.
  • Publications in high impact factor peer reviewed journals.
  • It is expected a thorough background on Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and a clear interest in Cell Biology. In addition, it will be important to show ability to develop ideas logically and design experiments to test hypotheses, ability to modify and apply new methods to advance a project, and to analyse and write up data for presentations and publications.
  • The post-doc should have a personal resume showing ability to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences and to write effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to direct junior members of the laboratory in simple laboratory procedures
Experience and Personal Qualities
  • Experience of working in a research environment and commitment to high quality research
  • Experience in multi-disciplinary working and clear interest in working as part of the team. All the members of the team will collaborate in this research project.
  • Ability to work independently and to use own initiative when required.
(Read eligibility criteria)