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Research Associate

University of Cambridge
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (GB)
Closing date
24 Mar 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job title: 3 Postdoctoral Research Associate positions in protein engineering of modular therapeutics (Fixed Term).

Department/Location: Department of Pharmacology/Biochemistry/Chemistry, University of Cambridge

Closing date: 24th March 2024

Applications are invited for three PDRA positions to be part of an interdisciplinary team spanning the Departments of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Chemistry, University of Cambridge. The aim is to create Modular Activator and Silencer Therapeutics (MAST) by developing novel platforms of antibodies, E3 ligase-mediated degraders, and proteases, to advance drug discovery. We are looking for motivated scientists with a strong team spirit to work on achieving the goals of MAST, with mentorship support from the labs of Laura Itzhaki (degraders; PMID 33623657), Paul Miller (ion channel antibodies; PMID 35140402), Florian Holfelder (proteases; PMID 36765057), Mark Howarth (antibodies; PMID 36865256), Catherine Wilson (degraders; PMID 32286286), and Pietro Sormanni (antibody design; PMID 37024501). See the document below for more info on groups.

This project provides opportunities for creative protein engineering, including database mining (to build structural antibody/ligase/protease libraries), machine learning (AI) approaches to antibody design and interpretation of directed evolution trajectories of proteases, phage display, structural biology (X-ray/cryo-EM) of ion channels and ligases to understand antibody modulation, cell biology and advanced degrader/protease kinetic analysis, and directed protein evolution.

The applicants will have completed a PhD (or soon to be awarded one) and will have appropriate experience in at least one or more of the approaches described above and/or foundational skills in molecular biology/cloning, biophysics, protein expression and purification, biophysics & synthetic biology.

The funds for this post are available from 14th May 2024 with flexibility in the precise start date and continue for 24 months.

Successful candidates who have not been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be appointed as a Research Assistant at Grade 5 (£29,605-£33,966). Upon the award of the PhD the individual will be promoted to Research Associate, Grade 7 (£36,024-£44,263). 

The Departments of Pharmacology and Biochemistry are part of the School of Biological Sciences, which holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award, demonstrating a commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in science subjects. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, but we particularly encourage women and individuals from under-represented groups to apply.

The University of Cambridge is a signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), and will in recruitment assess research on the basis of its merits rather than the journal or venue in which it is published.  Applicants should not include Journal Impact Factors or uncontextualized metrics in their applications.

For more information: Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Online or in-person interviews are anticipated to take place in April.

The online application requires you to include your personal details, names and addresses of referees, as well as your CV, research publications list and cover letter to describe you interests and ambitions. Please state in the cover letter the areas of the MAST project that most interest you, i.e. antibodies, ligases or proteases, specific techniques etc.

Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Paul Miller (   For enquiries about the online application process please contact the HR Team (


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