MRC Toxicology Unit

MRC Toxicology Unit

MRC Toxicology Unit

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

MRC Toxicology Unit, Cambridge
Grade 5 – £26,715 – £30,942
Grade 7 – £32,816 – £40,322

Reference: PU22419

Post-transcriptional control of gene expression represents an exciting opportunity for new drug targeting. It is mediated by RNA binding proteins (RBPs) which regulate all aspects of RNA metabolism including splicing, mRNA translation, mRNA stability and localisation. Many cancers are associated with altered expression of RNA binding proteins including members of the canonical translation machinery.

We have developed methods to robustly interrogate the RNA binding proteome and how this changes upon perturbation including cell stress, disease states and drug treatment (Queiroz et al, Nature Biotechnology, 2019). We are applying our approaches to a variety of different disease models and cellular perturbations.

We are now looking to appoint a postdoctoral computational biology Research Associate to join our team in an exciting research project involving Celgene Research SL, A Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and the research groups of Professor Anne Willis at the MRC Toxicology Unit and Professor Kathryn Lilley at the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics, Department of Biochemistry, both located within the University of Cambridge. The post will be ideal for a candidate with experience in applying machine learning tools to multi-omics data. However, talented candidates with a strong background in statistical methods or computational biology who are keen to develop experience in post transcriptional processes mediated by RNA-protein interactions are encouraged to apply. Additionally, the post-holder will have the freedom to develop their own projects, in line with lab interests.

The MRC Toxicology Unit is an internationally renowned institution focussed on the delivery of field-changing mechanistic insights into toxicology and disease. The Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including super resolution microscopy, advanced flow-cytometry, mass spectrometry and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development. The Unit is currently located at Leicester and will physically relocate to the Gleeson Building, Cambridge in 2020. This post will initially be based within the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics, Milner Therapeutics Institute, Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, prior to relocation to the Gleeson Building.

Applicants must hold, or be close to completing, a PhD in a relevant discipline and have expertise in algorithmic implementation, statistical programming and data manipulation, using e.g. Unix Bash, R/Bioconductor, and Python, contemporary, open-source bioinformatics tools and database structures, and collaborative development skills using version control systems (e.g. Git). The ability to work both independently and as part of a team, together with excellent communication and critical thinking skills are also essential.

Appointment at Research Associate is dependent on having a PhD. Where a PhD has yet to be awarded or submitted appointment will initially be made as a Research Assistant and amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for three years in the first instance.

Further information on the Toxicology Unit can be found at (

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:

Closing date: 08 March 2020

Informal enquiries are invited and can be directed to Anne Wills ( or Kathryn Lilley ( If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Rebecca Heatherley at

Please quote reference PU22419 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.