Postdoctoral Scientist - Cell Biology - Dr Madeline Lancaster - LMB 1386

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Deadline: 11 Oct 2020

View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Cell Biology - Dr Madeline Lancaster - LMB 1386
Open Date
02/10/2020, 17:10
Close Date
11/10/2020, 23:55

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.
There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.
The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.
UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 4


£31,602 - £34,443 per annum

Fixed Term


Full Time

3 years

Overall purpose:
To work within the group of Dr Madeline Lancaster at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at understanding brain development in cerebral organoids.  Specifically, to undertake research to investigate mechanisms of brain development and males and females and study sexually dimorphic traits in early human brain development.
Main duties:
To undertake research aimed at understanding human brain development in cerebral organoids.
To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.
To present scientific work at seminars within the laboratory and at external meetings.
To contribute to laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the field.
To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
To assist in the training of PhD Students and other members of the LMB.
Key Responsibilities:
Within the overall direction of the programme, the group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within a 3-year lifespan.
To plan your own work and objectives on a 12-month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your supervisor.
To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.
To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.
To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local polices and legal requirements.
To contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.
To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.
Working relationships:
You will report to Dr Madeline Lancaster and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support staff and students, not only in your group, but also across the LMB and with external groups as necessary.
Additional information:
This is a 3-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills.  We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:
•    MRC training courses.
•    External training and personal development courses.
•    One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.
You will commit to undertaking the following:
•    Developing and following a personal development plan.
•    Attending training courses.
•    Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.

Education / Qualifications / Training required:
PhD in a biological subject or due to complete doctoral studies within 6 months of applying (in a biological subject).
PhD in developmental neurobiology, cell or molecular biology.
Previous work experience required:
Experience in neocortical development and neural stem cell biology, with experience in comparative studies, ie. between mutants and wild-type or between different species.
Experience in data collection and interpretation.
Experience with human pluripotent stem cells.
Experience with neuronal differentiation in vitro.
Knowledge and experience:
Specific Research Skills
Standard molecular biology methods including cell culture, nucleic acid isolation, PCR and cloning.
Standard histological methods including dissection, tissue preparation and immunohistochemistry.
Light microscopy such as wide field and confocal.
Experience with CRISPR/Cas.
Creativity and Initiative
Ability to carry out experimental programme by generating novel hypotheses and approaches to test them.
Demonstrated ability to develop novel experimental approaches e.g. new methodologies and techniques.
Ability to contribute ideas and provide support to other projects in the groups.
Has developed new techniques/methodologies which have added value to scientific work.
Track record of taking initiative to apply for fellowships or other awards for personal development.
Independent working
Proven skills in working independently to solve experimental problems.
Ability to organise presentations and prepare visual aids independently.
Ability to draft scientific manuscripts describing primary research findings.
Verbal and written communication skills
Experience in presenting scientific work, both written and orally.
Has made contributions to scientific papers as a primary author in high impact journals.
Has experience of training others "on the job".
Collaborations / Influencing Skills
Has strong skills and experience in working collaboratively as a member of a team.
Can interface with other disciplines including genetics, cell biology, and structural biology.
Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:
Motivated individual with a strong desire for self and team development.
Prior experience in supervisory or organisational roles.
The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.
Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.
We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

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