Postdoctoral Research Scientist

MRC Toxicology Unit

Fixed term for 5 years (funded by CRUK)

The Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, located at the University of Leicester, is an internationally renowned institution focussed on the delivery of 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 currently in the process of transferring to the University of Cambridge.  Legal transfer will take place in March 2018; the physical relocation is expected to take place in early 2020. 

We are looking to appoint an enthusiastic Research Scientist to join the MicroRNA Regulation of Gene Expression Group led by Professor Martin Bushell to work on a large consortium program grant funded by the Cancer Research UK to investigate “Targeting dysregulated translational control in the tumour environment” in collaboration with Dr Le Quesne (MRC Toxicology Unit) and Professors Sansom and Norman from the CRUK Beatson Institute. 

Oncogenes are exquisitely dependent upon the eIF4F initiation complex, which unwinds mRNA structure and facilitates ribosome recruitment, for their translation. It acts as a signalling hub positioned at the end of several mitogenic pathways, and its upregulation is a common feature of malignancy and leads to drug resistance.  You will will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project and participate in collaborative research, both within and external to the Toxicology Unit.

The main aims of the project will be:

  1. To establish the mechanisms through which eIF4A paralogues sculpt the translational landscapes associated with proliferating and differentiated cells, especially within stromal and epithelial compartments of tumours.
  2.  To achieve selective disruption of eIF4A paralogues in mouse models of colon, pancreatic and lung cancers and their associated stromal fibroblasts, and to determine the effects of this on tumour growth, invasion and metastasis.
  3.  To determine whether eIF4F complex dysregulation is a universal underlying feature of human malignancy, how this occurs, and whether this helps to identify patient groups who are likely to benefit from particular anti-eIF4F strategies. 

You will have been awarded (or in the final stages of obtaining) a PhD in a biological sciences subject, particularly RNA biology or translation control. Experience of cloning, mammalian tissue culture, western blotting, qPCR, immunofluorescence and RNA biology techniques is essential.  Knowledge of techniques aimed at assessing translation control, particularly deep-sequencing approaches (ribosome profiling) or array based methods is required. Experience or training in bioinformatics and advanced cell culture is desirable.

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.

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.

*Appointment to MRC Band 3 requires significant relevant postdoctoral experience and evidence of a trajectory towards independence, including a strong  publication record.

For full details of this post and to complete an online application, visit and upload your CV along with a covering letter.  Please quote reference TOX 641.

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Midlands of England