Research Associate

University College London - UCL MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

The Paluch lab studies cellular morphogenesis combining cell and molecular biology, quantitative imaging analysis and biophysical approaches to investigate cell shape changes in cultured cells and in vivo. Current projects in the lab include investigating the regulation of the mechanical properties of the cellular actin cortex, the biomechanics of cell migration and cell division, and the role of cell shape and mechanics during cell fate changes.

The lab is looking to hire a postdoctoral Research Associate to investigate the coupling between cellular mechanics and fate during cell state transitions. The project will aim to investigate cell shape and mechanical properties across systems, in stem cells and cancer cells undergoing state transitions. Data will be acquired in the Paluch lab and in collaboration with other experimental groups. The core of the project will be the development of a new analysis platform for comparing high-dimensional datasets including data on both gene expression and cell morphology/mechanics. The long-term aim is to illuminate the coupling between biochemistry and mechanics during cell state transitions.

Available from Autumn 2017, the post is funded until 31 October 2019 in the first instance.

Candidates should possess (or be about to be awarded) a PhD degree in cell biophysics, bioinformatics or a related discipline. A strong background in quantitative cell biology or bioinformatics is required, with experience with molecular biology, quantitative microscopy or studies of cell mechanics an advantage.

The lab is based at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, UCL and part of the project will be performed in the Paluch lab satellite at the Francis Crick Institute, London. For more information about the Paluch lab please visit  

Recent relevant publications include:

  • Chugh P, Clark AG, Smith MB, Cassani DA, Ragab A, Roux P, Charras G, Salbreux G, Paluch EK. (2017) Actin cortex architecture regulates cell surface tension. Nat Cell Biol. 19:689-697
  • Chalut KJ, Paluch EK. (2016) The actin cortex: A bridge between cell shape and function. Dev Cell. 38:571-573. 
  • Salbreux G, Charras G, Paluch E. (2012) Actin cortex mechanics and cellular morphogenesis. Trends Cell Biol, 22:536-545.

Highly committed candidates are encouraged to contact me by email at Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button below. If you have any queries regarding the vacancy or the application process, please contact Ione Karney (

Closing Date: 24 October 2017

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23.59.

Interview Date: TBC

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