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Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Genetic Mechanisms of Disease Laboratory

The Francis Crick Institute

About Us

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute researching the biology underlying human health.

At the Crick, scientists and staff collaborate to stretch the very limits of what we know about how life works. Our work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Francis Crick Institute is a charity, founded by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London. 

Reports to: James Lee [C]

Job Description: This is a full-time, fixed term (4 year) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.

The research group

We are seeking a talented postdoctoral researcher to help uncover the biological processes that lead to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and determine how these are affected by genetic variation. The successful applicant will join the Genetic Mechanisms of Disease lab, led by James Lee, at the Francis Crick Institute - a pioneering biomedical research institute dedicated to innovation and science.

The Lee lab studies the pathogenesis of immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases using genetics, genomics, molecular biology, and CRISPR-based approaches (all in primary immune cells). Our goal is not only to resolve the pathways involved, but to identify therapeutic opportunities that could lead to better treatments.

Project summary

Genetic studies in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively termed inflammatory bowel disease or IBD) have been incredibly successful, but the pathogenic mechanisms at disease-associated loci remain largely unknown.

We have developed a series of complementary methods to study the underlying biology, including scalable methods to functionally resolve causal variants, CRISPR-based approaches to establish the physiological role(s) of associated loci, and in vitro and in vivo assays of immune cell function to determine the pathological consequences. The successful applicant will use these – and other methods – to help resolve disease mechanisms at uncharacterised genetic loci that have biological activity in subsets of primary CD4 T cells. There will be a possibility of extending this work into other cell-types, and/or identifying small molecule modulators of any identified pathways.

For more information, see or for an example of related work, see Bourges et al. Resolving mechanisms of immune‐mediated disease in primary CD4 T cells. EMBO Molecular Medicine 2020.

Informal enquiries are welcome, and should be directed to James Lee (

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


  • PhD, or in the final stages of PhD completion, in a relevant biomedical science (including but not limited to: genetics, immunology, molecular biology, cell biology)  
  • Experience in molecular biology, including cloning
  • Experience of mammalian cell culture
  • Knowledge of immunology and/or experience in methods to assess immune function
  • Willingness to employ, optimise and develop new techniques
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a small team, including providing support for PhD students where necessary
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in refereed journals
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills


  • Experience in flow cytometry
  • Experience with CRISPR-Cas9
  • Experience in bioinformatics (preferably R/Bioconductor)

Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Location: London
Salary: Competitive with beneftis, subject to skills and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 8th September 2021
Closes: 7th November 2021
Job Ref: R200
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