Research Associate in The Molecular Basis of Mammographic Density and Breast Cancer Risk

The University of Manchester

Closing Date : 02/01/2017.
Employment Type : Fixed Term.
Duration : 01/04/2017 to 31/03/2019.
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Biology, Medicine & Health.
School/Directorate : School of Biological Sciences.
Division : Cell Matrix Biology & Regenerative Medicine.
Hours Per week : Full time.
Salary : £31,076 to £38,183 per annum.
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester.
Job Reference : BM&H-09260.

The project

High mammographic density (MD) has consistently been shown to be one of the strongest independent predictors of breast cancer risk. Women with the most mammographically dense breasts have a 4-6 fold increased risk of developing breast cancer, compared to similar aged women with the least dense breasts. This magnitude of increased risk sets raised MD apart from other established breast cancer risk factors.

The aims of the study are to: a) to determine the genomic, proteomic, and micro-mechanical changes that are associated with normal (non-cancer) high vs low MD breast, and b) to identify changes associated with early breast tumours within the same patients.

The role

Your main duties will be to:

  1. Following resectional surgery, process fresh tissue from women with high and low MD.
  2. Obtain comparative deep sequencing and detailed genomic information of normal breast and invasive breast cancer tissues.
  3. Determine if any differences between high vs low MD breast, and invasive breast cancers within the same breast correlate with:
  • altered RNA expression or proteomic composition (microarray and mass spectrometry),
  • remodelling of breast structure and micro- mechanics (conventional histology and atomic force microscopy) and
  • local X-ray density variation (by microCT).

The person

You should hold a PhD or equivalent in a biological or biomedical subject, with significant and up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge in biophysical analysis of human tissues.

You should also have significant experience, (preferably with published work), in the structural characterisation of tissues by atomic force, fluorescence and second harmonic microscopy.

The School is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The School holds a Silver Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff achieve a good work-life balance. We particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CV's or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Professor Charles Streuli, Professor of Cell Biology


Tel: 0161 275 5626


Dr Mike Sherratt, Senior Lecturer


Tel: 0161 275 1439

Date of external posting: Monday 28 November 2016

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Further particulars

Further particulars including job description and person specification are available on the University of Manchester website - click on the 'Apply' button below to find out more.

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