Imperial College London

Dr. Doryen Bubeck

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Reader in Structural Immunology



+44 (0)20 7594 2989d.bubeck Website




506Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Complement membrane attack complexDoryen Bubeck received her PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University in 2005 where she used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to investigate the cell entry mechanism of poliovirus.  As an EMBO postdoctoral fellow and Cancer Research Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford, she continued to explore the structures of membrane proteins, focusing on the complement immune pathway. Over 50 years since the complement membrane attack complex was visualized, a recent highlight from the lab reports the first 3D structure of the complete pore.  These results provide a framework for understanding the complex protein associations underlying activation of this innate immune effector and opens new directions of research investigating the lipid environment’s impact on MAC function. Doryen Bubeck is a Reader in Structural Immunology  within the Department of Life Sciences and holds a Satellite Group Leader position at the Francis Crick Institute. She is currently the Director of the Centre for Structural Biology at Imperial College. Her current research adopts a structural to investigate the role of membrane proteins in host-pathogen interactions. Supported by an ERC Consolidator Award, she aims to investigate how membrane attack complex (MAC) pore formation is controlled, a process important for fighting infections and preventing complement-mediated tissue damage.

We are currently recruiting! 

To apply

Job summary

Two Research Associates with expertise in structural biology, and in membrane biophysics are sought. Joining a collaborative research team with the Bubeck lab at Imperial College London and the Wallace lab at King’s College London we aim to uncover how the membrane attack complex (MAC) kills bacterial pathogens in the context of the cell envelope.

Duties and responsibilities

Funded by a five year Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, the project’s objectives are to discover (1) where MAC is located within the bacterial envelope and (2) how MAC activation controls bacterial killing. You will join an exciting interdisciplinary team of structural biologists and membrane biophysicists to tackle this major outstanding question in understanding host-pathogen interactions. Linking cryo electron tomography and superresolution studies of MAC within the context of a series of novel mimics of the Gram-negative cell envelope, the research builds on a combined track-record in complement structural biology and artificial membranes.

Essential requirements

Research Associate 1 (Research Associate in Structural Biology of the Membrane Attack Complex),  based in the Bubeck lab at Imperial College London, will hold a PhD (or equivalent) in structural biology, ideally with experience in cellular tomography. You must have a strong research track record in studying protein-protein and protein-membrane complexes preferably demonstrated by first author publications in international journals. Experience in the design and execution of workflow for structure determination of proteins or cellular systems from sample preparation to acquisisation and analysis of structural biology data. Additional expertise in microbiology is very suited for the position. This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment available for up to 36 months. Please see the attached Job Description and Person Specification for the full list of requirements.

Research Associate 2 (Research Associate in Artificial Cell Envelopes) based in the Wallace lab at King’s College London will focus on building new artificial and biohybrid models of the gram-negative cell envelope, compatible with single-molecule and superresolution fluorescence imaging and cryo electron tomography. You will hold a PhD (or equivalent) in membrane biophysics, optical microscopy or multiphase microfluidics. Experience in artificial membranes, superresolution microscopy, microbiology, and microfluidics are desirable. This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment available for up to 48 months.

Both posts require excellent verbal and written communication skills, and be able to write clearly and succinctly for publication. You must also be able to relate well with others, form positive relationships with a wide range of people and to work as part of a team, as well as independently. The ability to develop and apply new concepts, have a creative approach to problem-solving, and to set and attain research objectives in a multidisciplinary team are also essential.

Further information

For further information on Research Associate 2 position based at Kings College London, and to apply, please visit:


Further information for Research Associate 1 based at Imperial College London:

  • The successful candidate appointed to the Bubeck lab at Imperial College London will be based at South Kensington Campus. This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment available for up to 36 months.
  • Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range, £36,694- £39,888 per annum.
  • Candidates interested in applying for Research 1 at Imperial College London should submit an application via the Imperial College London careers site. Please complete an application form as directed, also providing your CV and list of publications.

Informal enquiries to Dr. Doryen Bubeck (, and Prof. Mark Wallace (,

Bubeck lab culture word cloud, created by lab members past and present:Lab culture: Created by lab members past and present

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Menny A, Lukassen M, Couves E, et al., 2021, Structural basis of soluble membrane attack complex packaging for clearance, Nature Communications, Vol:12, ISSN:2041-1723

Shah NR, Voisin TB, Parsons ES, et al., 2020, Structural basis for tuning activity and membrane specificity of bacterial cytolysins, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723

McFarlane C, Shah N, Kabasakal B, et al., 2019, Structural basis of light-induced redox regulation in the Calvin-Benson cycle in cyanobacteria, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:116, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:20984-20990

Parsons E, Stanley G, Pyne A, et al., 2019, Single-molecule kinetics of pore assembly by the membrane attack complex, Nature Communications, Vol:10, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-10

Menny A, Serna M, Boyd C, et al., 2018, CryoEM reveals how the complement membrane attack complex ruptures lipid bilayers, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Boyd CM, Bubeck DA, 2018, Advances in cryoEM and its impact on beta-pore forming proteins, Current Opinion in Structural Biology, Vol:52, ISSN:0959-440X, Pages:41-49

Boyd C, Parsons ES, Smith RAG, et al., 2016, Disentangling the roles of cholesterol and CD59 in intermedilysin pore formation, Scientific Reports, Vol:6, ISSN:2045-2322

Serna Gil M, Bubeck D, Giles JL, et al., 2016, Structural basis of complement membrane attack complex formation, Nature Communications, Vol:7, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-7

Johnson S, Brooks NJ, Smith RAG, et al., 2013, Structural basis for recognition of the pore-forming toxin intermedilysin by human complement receptor CD59, Cell Reports, Vol:3

Hadders MA, Bubeck D, Roversi P, et al., 2012, Assembly and Regulation of the Membrane Attack Complex Based on Structures of C5b6 and sC5b9, Cell Reports, Vol:1, ISSN:2211-1247, Pages:200-207

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