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MRC Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Cambridge - MRC Toxicology Unit

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £32,236 to £39,609
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 23rd August 2019
Closes: 25th September 2019
Job Ref: PU20396

The Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit 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 including super resolution microscopy and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development. The Unit is part of the University of Cambridge; it is currently located at Leicester and will physically relocate to the Gleeson Building, Cambridge in 2020. This post will initially be based in Genetics at the University of Cambridge prior to the relocation to the Gleeson Building. 

We are looking to appoint an MRC Postdoctoral Fellow (PF) to join Ritwick Sawarkar's lab 'Epigenetic response to environmental stress and toxins'. The lab is currently based at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany; and will relocate to the University of Cambridge in autumn 2019: 

We employ multi-disciplinary approaches, including Next Generation Sequencing, microscopy, proteomics and metabolomics, to understand proteostatic mechanisms and their links with epigenetic regulation of transcription in the event of toxic exposure. 

The successful candidate will work on a project exploring the response of transcriptional machinery to the various cellular stresses and toxins, focussing on the importance of epigenetic regulation. You will also have considerable freedom to develop your own projects, in line with lab interests. 

Applicants must hold, or be in the final stages of completing, a PhD in a relevant discipline such as chromatin biology and transcription together with experience in mammalian cell culture and biochemical techniques. The ability to work both independently and as part of a team is expected, together with excellent communication and critical thinking skills. 

This is a three-year training and development position during which you will receive a range of formal and on-the-job training to ensure you receive the skills relevant to your role and to help support your future career. 

Further information on the Toxicology Unit can be found at 

Key Lab Publications: 

Aprile-Garcia F,  Tomar P, Hummel B, Khavaran A & Sawarkar R (2019) Nascent-protein ubiquitination is required for heat shock-induced gene downregulation in human cells, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 26, 137-146 

Hummel B, Hansen EC, Yoveva A, Aprile-Garcia F, Hussong R & Sawarkar R (2017) The evolutionary capacitor HSP90 buffers the regulatory effects of mammalian endogenous retroviruses, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 24, 234-242 

Sawarkar R, Sievers C and Paro R (2012)

Hsp90 globally targets paused RNA polymerase to regulate gene expression in response to stimuli.

Cell. 149(4):807-18. 

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Rebecca Heatherley at 

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a basic disclosure (criminal records check) check and a security check. 

Please quote reference PU20396 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. 

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. 

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

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