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Research Associate: Functional Analysis of Constitutive Heterochromatin

University of Cambridge - Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £32,816 to £40,322
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 20th September 2019
Closes: 21st October 2019
Job Ref: PR20737

We are seeking a talented and motivated postdoctoral scientist to join Professor Julie Ahringer's laboratory to study constitutive heterochromatin and its relationship with oncogenic pathways. Our research programme uses the powerful model organism C. elegans to uncover general principles of eukaryotic chromatin regulation in an in vivo developmental context (

Constitutive heterochromatin is a poorly understood component of inactive chromatin that covers 20-50% of animal genomes. It is important for chromosome organization, repression of repetitive elements, and correct gene expression, and dysfunction is associated with human disease, including cancer. Despite its importance, our understanding of how constitutive heterochromatin forms and functions is extremely limited. The project will involve defining a comprehensive genetic network of constitutive heterochromatin components followed by functional analyses of novel conserved genes in C. elegans and humans, the latter through collaboration with the laboratory of Professor Ken Zaret.

You will be a motivated and organised individual with expertise in a broad range of molecular biology techniques, have excellent verbal and written communication skills as evidenced by publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals, and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Experience in genomic profiling techniques (e.g. ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, RNA-seq) is desirable. Candidates should have (or be about to receive) a PhD in a relevant discipline and have a capacity to apply initiative and creativity to solve biological problems.

The Gurdon Institute is a world-renowned centre of Developmental biology and Cancer research embedded in the University of Cambridge. It is supported by funding from the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, and provides an exceptional and stimulating environment that promotes collaborative and interdisciplinary research in a supportive and modern setting, with access to state-of-the-art technologies such as super-resolution imaging, single-cell analyses, genome engineering, and genomics and computer modelling. Its postdoc association encourages scientific and social interactions and also provides career development and teaching opportunities.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

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

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV (including the names of two people who can provide a letter of reference) in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline your research interests and why you are interested in the post.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Emma Gant at

Please quote reference PR20737 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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