Research Assistant/Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge is one of the world's oldest universities and leading academic centres. If you're looking for a new challenge and would like excellent benefits, extensive learning opportunities and a stimulating working environment in return for your skills and contribution, there could be a job here for you.

The Sawarkar lab at the MRC Toxicology Unit is looking to appoint a Postdoctoral Molecular Cell Biology Scientist to contribute to its programme on Epigenetics, Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding.

The project will use state-of-the-art genomic technologies to identify epigenetic determinants that lead to protein misfolding in neurons. Using single-cell technologies for in vivo mouse models as well as embryonic stem cell differentiation models of neurodegeneration, the project will identify mechanisms leading to age-associated protein misfolding in neurons.

Your role will be to support the research activities of the group and conduct your own research projects within the remit of the research programme at the frontiers of molecular bioscience.

You will need to hold, or be close to completing, a PhD in a degree in an appropriate field (e.g. in vivo biology or physiology), together with hands-on experience in routine molecular cell biology techniques. You will be able to work both independently and as part of a team, have excellent communication, organisational and problem-solving skills and ideally have experience of working on an independent research project. Enthusiasm for working in a diverse inter-disciplinary team is desirable.

The MRC Toxicology Unit is an internationally renowned institution focused on the delivery of field-changing mechanistic insights into toxicology and disease. The Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including mass spectrometry, microscopy, and bioinformatics, and offers excellent opportunities for scientific career development.

Appointment at Research Associate is dependent on having a PhD. Where a PhD has yet to be awarded or submitted, appointment will initially be made as a Research Assistant and amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded.

Further information on the Toxicology Unit can be found at (

Relevant publications:

  1. Rawat P, Boehning M, Hummel B, Aprile-Garcia F, Pandit AS, Eisenhardt N, Khavaran A, Niskanen E, Vos SM, Palvimo JJ, Pichler A, Cramer P, Sawarkar R. (2021) Stress-induced nuclear condensation of NELF drives transcriptional downregulation. Mol Cell. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2021.01.016.

  2. Antonova A, Hummel B, Khavaran A, Redhaber D, Aprile Garcia F, Rawat P, Gundel K, Schneck M, Hansen E, Mitschke J, Mittler G, Miething C and Sawarkar R (2019) Heat-shock protein 90 controls the expression of cell-cycle genes by stabilizing metazoan-specific Host-Cell Factor HCFC1. Cell Reports. 29(6):1645-1659.e9.

Fixed-term: This post is funded by the ERC for three years in the first instance, with the possibility of an extension of up to four years.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Informal enquiries are invited and can be directed to Dr Ritwick Sawarkar (

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact

Please quote reference PU31686 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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