PostDoc - Computational analysis of drug repurposing with Machine Learning and protein co-translational folding (Closed)

Post-doctoral position
Position category: PostDoc
Reference: 2023/50
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: 2023/05/15
For more info contact the supervisors:
Aitor Bergara
Aritz Leonardo
How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for the above mentioned position. This is a unique opportunity for junior researchers with a recent PhD degree in Physics or related fields to join one of DIPC’s high-profile research teams..

The role

The aim of this postdoctoral research position is to work mainly on the following two topics

  • Drug repurposing and Machine Learning: Development of Neuronal Metabolic Fitness modulators to treat Alzheimer Disease:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterised by progressive neurodegeneration of cortical and limbic neurons, resulting in cognitive impairment. The pathological pathways that cause neurodegeneration in AD are diverse and, therefore, it will be necessary to employ combined therapies that target alterations in the key pathological processes that contribute to the disease development. Altered glucose metabolism is a consistent feature in both patients’ brains and in cellular and animal models of AD. Based on our own findings and existing literature data we hypothesise that correction of neuronal metabolic defects may serve as a treatment for AD, and thus propose to study two therapeutic strategies that, by different mechanisms, restore cellular metabolic homeostasis: inhibiting ELOVL6 and stabilising calcium ryanodine receptors (RyR). The present proposal will in-silico screen via Machine Learning algorithms, different ELOVL6 or RyR modulating molecules available from chemical libraries, with the aim of selecting candidates that are valid to enter into regulated preclinical development phases. Several molecules from a new family of RyR stabilisers patented by Biodonostia and the UPV/EHU will also be experimentally teste

  • Protein Co-Translational Folding:

The ribosome is the machine that synthesises all proteins, the functional agents of life. To become functional, proteins fold into 3D shapes; this process is affected by the ribosome during translation, and it has never been visualised in real time. A fundamental question in biology is: how does the ribosome influence protein folding? We will design Molecular Dynamics (MD) calculations to try to answer the question. We will compute folding with enhanced sampling methods for relevant extended time frames to create simplified, yet realistic, quantitative models of protein folding in the ribosomal tunnel. 

Desired background & competences

The candidate should have a PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics or Biophysics, with a strong computational background, preferably on topics related to this position.

Working conditions

  • Contract duration: 1 year (possibility to extend up to 2 years)
  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales
  • Target start date: 2023/06/01

We provide a highly stimulating research environment, and unique professional career development opportunities.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The center

DIPC is a research center whose mission is to perform and catalyze cutting-edge research in physics and related disciplines, as well as to convey scientific culture to society. Located in Donostia / San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain), DIPC was born from a strategic alliance of both public institutions and private companies. Since 2008 DIPC is a 'Basque Excellence Research Center' (BERC) recognized by the Basque Government's Department of Education. In 2019, DIPC was also recognized as a "Severo Ochoa" Excellence Center by the Spanish Research Agency.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit an updated CV and a brief statement of interest to the following application email below. 

Reference letters are welcome but not indispensable.

The reference of the specific opening to which the candidate is applying should be stated in the subject line, and the application must be received before the application deadline.

Although candidates are welcome to contact the project supervisors to know further details about the proposed research activity, please be aware that the application will be evaluated only if it is submitted directly to the email address listed below as application email.

Selection process

Applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by a Committee designed by the DIPC board on the basis of the following criteria:

  • CV of the candidate (40%)
  • Adequacy of the candidate’s scientific background to the project (40%)
  • Reference letters (10%)
  • Other: Diversity in gender, race, nationality, etc. (10%)

Evaluation results will be communicated to the candidates soon after. Positions will only be filled if qualified candidates are found.

The DIPC may revoke its decision if the candidate fails to join by the appointed time, in which case the position will be awarded to the candidate with the next highest score, provided it is above 50 (out of 100).

However, the selected candidate may keep the position if, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, the candidate duly justifies the reasons why he or she cannot join before the specified deadline, and as long as the project allows it.


This project has been supported by MCIN with funding from European Union NextGenerationEU (PRTR-C17.I1)


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The resolution of this opening has been already published. You can download it here.