Research Associate - Mechanochemistry in Biology (Fixed Term)

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Deadline: 04 Aug 2022

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate to join the group of Professor Melinda Duer at the Department of Chemistry on a research project to understand how cell biology is affected by mechanical strain in intact in vitro and in vivo tissues.  The Duer group is a vibrant, highly interdisciplinary team with dedicated, well-equipped biological chemistry laboratories and state-of-the-art molecular characterization facilities. 

The project will explore how strain in the extracellular matrix (ECM) generates chemistry in the ECM proteins and glycans and will assess how products of this matrix chemistry influence cell differentiation, adhesion and migration in fibroblastic and cancer cell lines.  The successful applicant will be expected to develop in vitro tissue models suitable for tensile strain experiments. They will characterize the protein composition and collagen post-translational modifications of these and ex vivo tissues with proteomics, LC-MS, confocal and Raman imaging and they will have opportunites to be trained in any of these methods that they do not already have experience in. They will perform cell proteomics and qRT-PCR to assess cell differentiation, and they will have the opportunity to participate in NMR characterization of tissues.  They will be encouraged also to pursue their own development of other complementary characterization methods applicable to the project goals. They will work as part of a highly interdisciplary, cohesive team that works together closely and will co-supervise one or more PhD students on the project.

Applicants should have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in cell biology, biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, biomaterials, or other relevant discipline.  Experience of mammalian cell culture, including use of e.g. siRNA, inhibitors and/ or CRISPR/Cas9 methods to alter the cell proteome in vitro is essential.  A strong track record in at least one aspect of characterizating biological tissues is very highly desirable, e.g. confocal or Raman imaging, NMR spectroscopy, proteomics, LC/MS or similar; method development in any of these techniques would be an advantage.  They will have good data management and organizational skills and demonstrate a clear enthusiasm for their work.  Demonstrated ability to work in a team is highly desirable; the desire to work as part of a close-knit team, sharing data and ideas and working together on complex experiments, is essential. 

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publication list in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

For queries relating to your application or the application process, please contact Professor Melinda Duer (email: mjd13@cam.ac.uk ).

Please quote reference MA31789 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

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.


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