Research Associate - Protein Assembly

University of Cambridge - Department of Chemistry

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 year in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) to work on the development and applications of a microfluidic platform for analysing of Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) protein assembly, with a focus on liquid-liquid phase transitions using recombinant protein, cellular and cultured neuron systems, a project funded by the Wellcome Trust. The PDRA will work in the group of Professor Knowles in the Department of Chemistry

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to gain mechanistic insights into the aggregation of Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) proteins, known to be associated with two neurological pathologies, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). In ALS, modification in FUS' methylation prevents it from binding transportin and sequesters it in the cytoplasm, where it accumulates and aggregates to form cytoplasmic inclusion.

To understand the role of protein methylation on the aggregation and phase transition mechanism and the risk of malignant progression it is important to understand the physicochemical basis of this phenomena both in-vitro and using in-vivo cell culture models. To this end the PDRA will combine cell biology with microfluidic techniques to develop biophysical toolkit that allows real-time characterisation of FUS aggregation kinetics and apply these to experiments at single cell resolution.

Candidates should have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in chemistry, biophysics, soft materials science or a related discipline. Prior experience with microfluidics is an advantage but not required. Applicants will be expected to work in an interdisciplinary environment and interact with a team of scientists with a wide range of expertise in biophysics and biophysical chemistry.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. 

For queries relating to your application or the application process, please contact Echo Williamson (email:

Please quote reference MA14082 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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