Research Associate: Understanding Gene Network Heterogeneity In Development x2

University College London - Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment

During embryonic development, cell fate choice and proportioning are must be robust and reproducible. This is despite the fact that extensive cell-cell variation is generated by noise and stochasticity, which can cause heterogeneous gene network activity. Therefore to understand how cell fate choice and patterning are achieved during development and regeneration, key questions


  1. How are the gene networks that regulate differentiation affected by noise and stochasticty?
  2. Do differentiating cells all follow the same path towards the differentiated state?

Until recently, however, it has been impossible to follow the behaviour of entire gene networks in individual cells, or to follow their temporal changes in activity in individual cells as they differentiate along different linages. Single cell gene expression analysis, together with novel computational reconstruction of gene network dynamics provides this opportunity. Therefore, in this project you will use powerful new single cell RNA-sequencing approaches to follow changes in gene expression over time in individual differentiating cells.

You will join a multidisciplinary team led by Professor Chris Thompson, who joined UCL in September 2017. This work builds upon our recent discovery of a novel robust developmental circuit based on an ultradian cell fate oscillator. The approaches used in the lab include transcriptomics, functional genomics, molecular genetics, live cell imaging, and mathematical modeling.

Candidates with extensive experience of using either computational genomic approaches (Position1) or wet lab approaches (Position 2) to understand the molecular basis of gene networks will be considered. You should currently hold or be about to obtain a PhD in Computational, Cell, Molecular or Developmental Biology.

The posts are funded by the Wellcome Trust and is available for 18 months in the first instance (with possibility of extension).

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316 - £31,967 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

Full details on the role and the person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

Please ensure you read these carefully before applying for the post as candidates must meet all essential criteria to be considered.

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

If you would like to discuss the post please contact Professor Chris Thompson,

For any queries regarding the application process, please contact Biosciences Staffing on and quote the reference 1670534

Closing Date: 16 October 2017

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23.59.

Interview Date: TBC

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