Research Assistant/Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Cell Signalling

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 14 Dec 2020

The Babraham Institute is a charity which is world renowned for its research in life sciences to enhance lives and improve wellbeing.

We are seeking to recruit a talented and highly motivated Research Assistant or Postdoctoral Research Scientist to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control the activation of peptidylarginine deiminase (PADI) enzymes within cells.

Peptidylarginine deiminase (PADI) enzymes are emerging as key regulators of mammalian physiology and pathophysiology. Through catalysing the citrullination (or deimination) of a variety of protein substrates, PADIs impact on gene regulation, chromatin compaction, nerve myelination, skin homeostasis, innate immunity and pluripotency. Deregulation of PADIs is deleterious and that aberrantly high levels of citrullination can underlie the development of autoimmunity, neurodegeneration and cancer. Notably, PADI activation mediates the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which are increasingly found to exacerbate the tissue damage associated with a wide variety of pathologies. This has led to significant efforts to inhibit the PADIs for therapeutic effect, however the molecular mechanisms that control their functions in vivo are poorly understood. 

The central aim of this project is to investigate the signaling pathways and biochemical mechanisms that control PADI activation, specifically in the contexts of stem cell pluripotency and innate immune responses. The job holder will exploit cell-based experimental systems developed in the Christophorou lab to carry out mass spectrometry, protein biochemistry and cell signaling studies to achieve this goal. The job holder will also generate genetically engineered cell lines to validate new findings and the work may extend to in vivo studies using mouse models of PADI4 perturbation. This work will define the biochemical regulation of protein citrullination and generate important new knowledge in the areas of stem cell biology and innate immunity. We also anticipate that it will provide the basis for improved therapeutic interventions against a number of pathologies caused or exacerbated by PADI deregulation and aberrant NETosis.

The ideal candidate will have a strong interest and background in cell signalling and protein biochemistry, particularly in the area of protein post-translational modifications and expertise in genetic manipulation of mammalian cells. Previous experience in the execution and analysis of mass spectrometry experiments is highly desirable.

Applicants must hold a PhD or have their thesis submitted when commencing the post. Please note that you will be appointed on the starting salary of £30,000 per annum, if you have not yet been awarded your PhD.

Funding for this position is available 18 months in the first instance.

Informal enquiries about the position can be directed to Maria Christophorou ( ).

For more information on the work of the group, please visit here .

Closing date for applications is Monday, 14th December 2020.

For further details about this position or to apply online visit here .

Further information about the Institute can also be found on our website ( ).


The Babraham Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award and is committed to promoting and developing a culture of excellence, diversity and mutual respect that supports the Institute’s ambitions and attracts highly motivated and talented people.

The Babraham Institute is a Disability Confident Employer and has a positive approach to employing disabled people.

The Babraham Institute receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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