Research Technician (Part time)

The University of Manchester - School of Biological Sciences.

Closing Date : 09/10/2017.
Employment Type : Fixed Term.
Duration : 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2020.
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Biology, Medicine & Health.
School/Directorate : School of Biological Sciences.
Division : Cell Matrix Biology & Regenerative Medicine.
Hours Per week : 21 hours per week.
Salary : £22,876 to £25,728 pro rata per annum according to experience.
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester.
Job Reference : BM&H-10684.

We are looking for an enthusiastic new member for our laboratory who will work on the following project:

In the body, epithelial cells interact with their neighbouring cells through cell to cell adhesion sites called desmosomes. These desmosomes are also important for normal development, where they stabilise developing tissues. Aberrant function of desmosomes causes diseases such as sudden heart failure, defective wound healing, cancer spread and certain blistering diseases of the skin and oral cavity.

An important factor contributing to the toughness of tissues is that desmosomes exhibit a highly adhesive state that locks cells together, thus restricting their movement. Under specific circumstances, for example during wound healing, epidermal cells migrate to close the wound. In order to move, cells need to reduce the degree of adhesion between them and they do this by becoming more weakly adhesive and by losing some or all of their desmosomes. How they do this is not understood but a better understanding of how desmosomes are regulated is critically important if we want to get a step closer to treating the roots of diseases and promote regeneration.

The project is multidisciplinary and aims to understand the mechanisms of how desmosomes are regulated. To reach our goal, we use cutting edge microscopy (fluorescence microscopy including FRET and photo activation methods), biochemistry (mass spec, western blotting, immunoprecipitations) and molecular biology techniques (cloning, mutagenesis, knockdown). Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this project may lead to important changes in how we currently envisage cell-cell adhesion regulation and their contribution to health and disease. This may also lead to changes in treatment of patients, and it might thus, for example, contribute to improvements in disease prevention and in regeneration processes.

You will be a member of the Ballestrem lab ( and guided mainly by one postdoc and the PI. The lab currently consists of 2 postdocs and 4 PhD students who all work on different aspects of cell adhesion mechanisms. The lab is adjacent to the collaborators’ labs of David Garrod and Martin Humphries. The Ballestrem lab is embedded in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research in Manchester ( in the Michael Smith Building which provides a friendly and scientifically outstanding research environment.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Dr Christoph Ballestrem


General enquiries:


Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel: 01618502004

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

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.

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:


Northern England