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Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £27,116 to £40,927
Hours: Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th October 2021
Closes: 30th November 2021
Job Ref: PM28456

We are pleased to advertise a post for a Research Assistant/Associate to study the composition and role of tricellular adherens junctions in epithelial morphogenesis in Dr Bénédicte Sanson's group.

We have discovered the first known resident component of tricellular adherens junctions (tAJs) in the fruit fly Drosophila, the transmembrane adhesion molecule Sidekick (Sdk) [1,2]. Sidekick, and thus tAJs, have been shown to be important in various aspects of epithelial morphogenesis in several tissues in Drosophila. We propose here to elucidate how Sidekick localises at tAJs and to understand better Sidekick's role in facilitating cell rearrangements during the extension of the main body axis in fly embryos. Approaches for the project will include molecular dissection of Sdk, optogenetics and super-resolution microscopy, the latter in collaboration with Prof. Daniel St Johnston (Gurdon Institute) and the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre. There will also be an opportunity to collaborate with Dr Clare Buckley (PDN) to address the conservation of this epithelial role of Sdk in vertebrates, in the zebrafish model.

The approaches developed for this project will complement and synergise with existing approaches in the lab, including Drosophila genetics, advanced live imaging, computational analysis of cell behaviours and mathematical modelling. We are looking to recruit either at Research Assistant or Research Associate level.

The post is available for an immediate start with funding for the project available to the end of September 2023 in the first instance. 

[1] Finegan TM, Hervieux N, Nestor-Bergmann A, Fletcher AG, Blanchard GB, Sanson B. (2019) The tricellular vertex-specific adhesion molecule Sidekick facilitates polarised cell intercalation during Drosophila axis extension. PLoS Biol. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000522.

[2] Lye CM, Naylor HW, Sanson B. (2014) Subcellular localisations of the CPTI collection of YFP-tagged proteins in Drosophila embryos. Development. doi: 10.1242/dev.111310.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements.

We particularly welcome applications from women and /or candidates from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our department.

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

The closing date for applications is midnight on 30 November 2021.

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Professor Benedicte Sanson at

Please quote reference PM28456 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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