Postdoctoral Scientist

MRC Toxicology Unit

Fixed Term for 3 Years 
Funded by BBSRC

The Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, located at the University of Leicester, is an internationally renowned institution delivering field-changing mechanistic insights into toxicology and disease. The Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development.  The Unit is expected to relocate to the University of Cambridge early 2020.

We are looking to appoint a postdoctoral scientist specialising in advanced gene expression methodologies to join the MicroRNA Regulation of Gene Expression Group led by Prof. Martin Bushell to work on a project to determine the mechanism by which microRNAs control gene-expression.

MicroRNAs have emerged as a major mechanism of gene regulation in metazoans, controlling the expression of approximately 60% of all protein encoding genes. These non-coding RNA molecules are ~21 nucleotides in length and exert their activity by base-pairing with specific mRNAs (normally within the 3`UTR) inhibiting gene expression at the post-transcriptional level.

Since their discovery, numerous studies have documented the fundamental roles of these small RNA molecules in virtually all aspects of life and disease. However, the mechanisms by which these molecules function to repress gene-expression has remained unclear and controversial.

The aims of this project are to resolve and understand the mechanistic heart of the miRNA-repression apparatus, to finally understand how repression is achieved.  You will use a variety of next generation sequencing and advanced bioinformatics approach to investigate how these helicase exert control over gene-expression.

You will have been awarded (or in the final stages of obtaining) a PhD in biological sciences, have experience of working with RNA, cloning, tissue culture, western blotting, qPCR, immunofluorescence, microRNA methods and immunoprecipitation. Experience of deep-sequencing and advanced bioinformatics skills would be advantageous. You will be committed to working at a highly competitive level, able to communicate scientific ideas effectively and have published (or about to publish) in a peer-reviewed journal.

The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings.  Choosing to come to work at the MRC means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a final salary pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, as well as the chance to put the MRC on your CV in the future.

*For those who have only recently completed their doctoral studies (or who may be more experienced and moving into a new research discipline or with limited experience of key transferable skills) you will be given the choice upon appointment of undertaking the MRC Post-Doctoral Training Scheme which provides you with personal allowances of £1,000 initial settlement plus an annual training allowance of £850 increasing to £1,300 in year two, and £1,800 in the third year.

For full details of this post and to complete an online application, visit and upload your CV along with a covering letter.  Your application must include a document which outlines in one paragraph your expertise in translation control mechanisms/RNA biology related experience, and how it will enhance the particular research activities outlined in the advert. 

Please quote reference TOX 374.

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Midlands of England