Postdoctoral Research Assistant

University of Dundee - Cancer Research

Summary of Job Purpose and Principal Duties

Skin Research Group

Molecular mechanisms in atopic eczema

Grade 7 (£31,076 - £33,943 per annum, dependent on experience) / Grade 7 Training (£27,629 - £30,175 for candidates who have submitted their PhD thesis and await viva examination)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in the laboratory of Professor Sara Brown, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms in atopic skin and eczema.

Atopic eczema is an itchy inflammatory skin disease which can have a huge impact on the quality of life of an affected individual. Atopic eczema is a complex trait, arising from the interaction of multiple genetic and multiple environmental factors. However, the disease is strongly heritable, emphasising the predominant role of genetic factors and the prime motivation of Sara’s research is to understand the molecular genetic mechanisms with the aim of using this knowledge to develop new and more targeted treatments.

Genome-wide studies have identified loci associated with eczema risk but the genes and mechanisms involved remain largely undefined, a challenge that is shared with other common complex traits. Our approach to address this question uses a skin organotypic model, in which candidate genes can be knocked down or over-expressed and the resultant effect analysed using methods of histological, molecular and functional assessment. Research within the University of Dundee allows access to world-class facilities and expertise in microscopy, molecular genetics and proteomics.

A parallel approach to understand genetic mechanisms in eczema is to apply ultra-deep next generation sequencing and bioinformatic analysis to study the role of copy number variation in genes responsible for epidermal differentiation. This analytical work will require laboratory follow-up with conventional assays and application in population-based eczema studies for which large clinical sample sets are available.

We are looking for an ambitious and highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to join our team, to be supported by Sara’s Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship. Prior experience of relevant molecular genetic, cell culture, basic microscopy and proteomic techniques would be advantageous, as well as evidence of ability to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team. Evidence of publication within the field of molecular genetic mechanisms is also desirable.

The University of Dundee is a leading institution for biomedical research and offers a vibrant research environment with world-leading facilities; it is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for skin genetic research. The School of Medicine is focused on understanding and combating disease and was given the top rating for its clinical impact at REF2014, which included Sara’s on-going work on the role of filaggrin in atopic disease.

This position is available for 12 months in the first instance and may become available for a longer period, subject to on-going funding. Interviews will be held on Thursday 12 January 2017.

For details of the Brown lab please see

The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096.

The University of Dundee is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

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