Postdoctoral Project Research Scientist

Francis Crick Institute
09 Feb 2023
01 Mar 2023
Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Ultanir Lab


Reporting to: Sila Ultanir, Group Leader


Contact term: This is a full-time, fixed term (4-year) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.  


Closing date and time: 1. 03. 2023 at 23:59



The Research Group 


Dr Ultanir’s laboratory focuses on the role of kinases in neuronal development and function. Kinases regulate all cellular processes by phosphorylating their substrates, most human proteins are known to be phosphorylated. The roles of many disease-associated kinases and the functional regulation of their substrates are not known.  CDKL5 is a brain enriched serine/threonine kinase. Loss of function mutations of CDKL5 cause a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with seizures. The lab’s research aims to understand the roles of CDKL5 in brain and how loss of CDKL5 leads to neuropathology. 


Details of research projects currently being undertaken can be seen at: 

Ultanir lab uses state of the art chemical genetics and mass spectrometry methods to determine the substrates and signaling pathways regulated by kinases. Mouse models and human iPSCs to investigate these signaling pathways are used. Some of the methods that the lab uses include confocal microscopy, live imaging, kinase biochemistry, brain slice electrophysiology, microtubule-based transport assays and mouse behaviour. The lab discovered that CDKL5 phosphorylates microtubule binding proteins and alter microtubule based transport. More recently, through SILAC based proteomics approaches the lab determined that CDKL5 phosphorylates and regulates a voltage-gated calcium channel Cav2.3. How CDKL5 orchestrates its substrates to achieve neuronal differentiation is not well understood. 


The purpose of this role is to investigate the role of CDKL5 substrates in neuronal development and function in mice and in iPSCs. The postdoctoral training fellow will be responsible for proteomics and transcriptomics approaches in mouse and human iPSC models. 


Postdoctoral Training Fellows will lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and may guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.



Key experience and competencies



The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: 

Bold; Open; Collegial



  • PhD in biology, neuroscience or a related discipline or in the final stages of PhD submission
  • Good knowledge and experience in transcriptomics and data analysis tools
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in referred journals
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings



  • Experience in research with mice or iPSCs
  • Experience in shRNA design
  • Experience in transcriptomics data analysis. 



About Us


At the Crick, we conduct research at the forefront of biomedical research. We combine rigour with an open and collaborative culture, and are outward-looking, reflecting our status as a partnership of six organisations aiming to pool knowledge, ideas and resources.

We have a wide research portfolio with no divisions or departments, bringing biomedical researchers together with clinicians, physical scientists and applied scientists from our pharmaceutical partners.

We aim to attract the most talented researchers and support them to tackle innovative research questions. Our science technology platforms provide our researchers with access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise.

We provide an excellent learning environment with dedicated education programmes in public engagement with science, education and personal development, and a postdoc training programme that prepares scientists for leadership roles in science.

  • If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via our website.
  • The closing date for applications is [date] at 23:59
  • All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom. 
  • If you require a visa to work in the UK we will help support your application should you be successful


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion



We welcome applications from all backgrounds. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, pregnancy, age, disability, or civil partnership, marital or family status. We particularly welcome applications from people who are Minority Ethnic as they are currently underrepresented in the Crick at this level.

Diversity is essential to excellence in scientific endeavour. It increases breadth and perspective, leading to more innovation and creativity. We want the Crick to be a place where everyone feels valued and where diversity is celebrated and seen as part of the foundation for our Institute’s success.

The Crick is committed to creating equality of opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusivity. We all share in the responsibility to actively promote dignity, respect, inclusivity and equal treatment and it is our aim to ensure that these principles are reflected and implemented in all strategies, policies and practices.

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