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Scientist in protein serial crystallography H/F

Vacancy details

General information


The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas :
• defence and security,
• nuclear energy (fission and fusion),
• technological research for industry,
• fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences.

Drawing on its widely acknowledged expertise, and thanks to its 16000 technicians, engineers, researchers and staff, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners.

The CEA is established in ten centers spread throughout France



Division description

As a major player in research, development and innovation, the CEA is involved in
fundamental research in life sciences and its applications in health and health technologies.
The Grenoble Interdisciplinary Research Institute ( is one of the
research institutes of the Fundamental Research Department of the CEA. It includes 10
research units that carry out basic research in biology, health, nanosciences, cryotechnologies
and new technologies for energy and the environment.

Description de l'unité

The Institute of Structural Biology (IBS) is part of the IRIG and develops research in integrated structural biology to address questions in basic and applied science. Among the 19 research groups within the IBS, the DYNAMOP (Dynamics and Kinetics of Molecular Processes) group develops and applies a broad range of experimental and computational methods to understand the structure-dynamics-function relationship of biological macromolecules in vitro and in a cellular context. To film proteins in action, the DYNAMOP group applies time-resolved serial crystallography at XFELs and at synchrotrons.

Position description


Biology, biophysics and biochemistry


Permanent contract

Job title

Scientist in protein serial crystallography H/F

Socio-professional category


Job description

With the advent of X-ray free electrons lasers (XFEL), ‘filming proteins in action’ at the atomic level of resolution has become possible by application of time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography. XFELs produce ultra-short pulses (several tens of femtoseconds) with a peak brilliance 10 orders of magnitude higher than synchrotrons, thereby enabling time-resolved experiments on the femto- to millisecond timescale and structure determination from even sub-micron sized macromolecular crystals.

Together with its international collaborators, the DYNAMOP group within IBS/IRIG has been pioneering the use of XFELs in structural biology in France, particularly in time-resolved crystallography (Nature Chemistry 2018, doi: 10.1038/nchem.2853; Nature Communications 2020, doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-14537-0; Science 2021, doi: 10.1126/science.abd5687), in in vivo nanocrystallography (Nature 2016, doi: 10.1038/nature19825; Nature Communications 2020, doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-14894-w; Nature Communications 2022, doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31746-x), in time-resolved small-angle scattering (Nature Communications 2015, doi: 10.1038/ncomms7772) and in serial crystallography data processing (Acta Cryst 2015, doi: 10.1107/S1399004715004514; Communications Biology 2022, doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03575-7). The DYNAMOP group now wishes to reinforce its capacity and capability in serial crystallography data processing, a step that is central to the success of serial crystallography experiments.

The scientist to be recruited will be responsible for processing, analyzing and interpreting serial crystallography data, including hit-finding, data-correction, indexing and integration of diffraction patterns, averaging of measured diffraction intensities, extrapolation of structure factor amplitudes, and structural refinement of reaction intermediate states. Importantly, the scientist will participate in serial crystallography software development within the DYNAMOP group that aims at improving and speeding up serial crystallography data processing and exploitation of information that they contain. In this context, the scientist should be proficient in the programming language Python, or equivalent, and familiar with a second one, e.g. C++. The recruited scientist will participate in the DYNAMOP group’s serial crystallography experiments at the XFELs in Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Japan (1 – 2x per year) and at the ESRF synchrotron. The successful candidate will also be encouraged to develop his/her own line or research within the scientific strategy of the group.


Applicant Profile

Education :

Physicist, chemist or biologist with extensive training in protein X-ray crystallography and a solid knowledge of Python, or an equivalent programming language.

 Competences :

  • Serial crystallography (X-rays, electrons) data processing and structure refinement
  • Programming in Python or equivalent, and knowledge of at least one other programming language
  • Bases in biochemistry and crystallization of biological macromolecules
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

 Experience :

  • Several years of experience in macromolecular crystallography in general, and in serial crystallography in particular
  • Postdoctoral experience outside of France or within an international facility in France
  • Participation in X-ray crystallography experiments at synchrotrons and/or at XFELs

Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2023

In accordance with the commitments made by the CEA in favor of the integration of people with disabilities, this job is open to all.

Position location



Job location

France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Isère (38)




Position start date