Research Fellow

University of Southampton - Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow to join Dr Ratnayaka’s group to study the effects of Retinal Pigment Epithelial (RPE) pathology leading to Sorsbys Fundus Dystrophy (SFD); an autosomal dominant macular dystrophy with no effective treatment.

You will have a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and laboratory experience in areas of cell biology and/or retinal biology. Previous experience in cellular/in-vitro disease modelling, molecular biology and extracellular matrix (ECM) modulation would be an advantage. Prior experience in RPE biology and/or generating adult induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) would also be advantageous. Candidates should be capable of independently designing and carrying out experiments as well as intellectually contributing to the project to achieve its goals in a timely manner. Evidence of publishing in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals would be desirable.

The Ratnayaka group investigates degenerative mechanisms in the senescent retina and brain. This project, funded by RP Fighting Blindness, will provide an opportunity to elucidate mechanistic changes in the RPE monolayer in relation to its underlying substrate. Potential findings may not only reveal new insights into dynamic RPE-ECM interactions underpinning SFD, but other retinopathies such as AMD. The project will employ techniques including cell culture-disease modelling, molecular biology/biochemistry, CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing, confocal and ultrastructural imaging as well as working with iPSC-RPE. Hence this exciting project offers the opportunity to work at the interphase of cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research.

You will join a vibrant and dynamic research group and be expected to work as a team with other postdocs, PhD/undergraduate students and technicians. You will collaborate with colleagues across Faculties of Medicine and Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. The successful candidate may be offered an honorary NHS contract for accessing patient samples and data relevant to the project. The candidate can expect a collegial and research-focused environment with mentoring and career development support from the PI.            

The post is available for a period of 3 years. Due to funding requirements the post can only be offered on a full-time basis.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates are likely to be held in September 2017.

Informal inquires may be directed to Dr Ratnayaka (

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online by clicking on the 'apply' button below. The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Geraldine Lewis (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote reference 896717FC on all correspondence.

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

The Faculty of Medicine holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award demonstrating commitment to equal opportunities and gender balance in the workplace. The Faculty recognises that applicants may seek flexible working patterns which will be considered as part of the recruitment process. For further information including key benefits designed to help maintain and support employees' well-being and work-life balance, please see our working with us website pages.

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South East England