Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 01 Jun 2021

The ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Airway Protection’ research group, led by Prof. Vito Mennella, is focused on investigating pathways that are regulated during airway mucociliary clearance, a key process protecting lung epithelial surface from inhaled toxicants such as particulate matter and infectious agents. A main research interest of the laboratory is to investigate mechanisms regulating motile cilia, beating nanomachines present on the surface of airway epithelia.

Despite their importance, we still do not know how the hundreds of motile cilia present on the surface of a cell are coordinated with each other to effectively clear material such as particulate matter. We have recently discovered that not all the motile cilia on the surface of airway cells are identical, but one is structurally and functionally different acting as a master regulator. The aim of this project is to determine the molecular make up of this novel organelle, how it functions in regulating mucociliary clearance and how its activity, together with other motile cilia, is modulated by toxicants inhaled in the airways.

We are now looking to appoint a postdoctoral Research Associate to join our team. This project offers the exciting opportunity to integrate airway molecular and cell biology methods with advanced imaging and high-throughput protein-protein interactions methods to enable characterisation/obtain novel insights on multiprotein signalling complexes that regulate airway defence.

The post will be ideal for a candidate with strong experience in airway biology interested in applying and developing state-of-the-art technologies/methods such as CRISPR/Cas9, Bio-ID and super-resolution methods for determining the roles and modes of interaction between proteins in airway cells. The post-holder will be expected to develop her/his own projects, in line with lab strategic 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, mass spectrometry, Cryo-EM, advanced flow-cytometry and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development.

Applicants must hold a PhD in a relevant discipline such as molecular and cell biology and bio-engineering. The ability to work both independently and as part of a team, together with excellent communication and critical thinking skills are also essential.

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 ( )

Informal enquiries are invited and can be directed to Dr Vito Mennella ( ).

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Bronwen Chamberlain at  

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