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Research Associate - Cell-Cell Communication (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) to work on the development and applications of a microfluidic platform for analysing cell-cell communication at the single cell level in the context of early tumorigenesis, a project funded by Cancer Research UK (Early Detection Programme). The PDRA will work in the group of Professor Knowles in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge in close collaboration with Dr Masashi Narita at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to gain mechanistic insights into the early development of tumours and to identify novel biomarkers for premalignancy. Cellular senescence, a state of stable cell cycle exit, has been recognised as an Œautonomous¹ tumour suppressor mechanism; Oncogene-Induced Senescence (OIS), a premalignant cell model, represents one of the earliest events during tumorigenesis. Paradoxically, accumulating evidence indicates that Œnon-autonomous¹ activities of senescent cells have diverse effects on neighbouring cells, conferring both pro- and anti-tumorigenic environments dependent on the context. The senescence phenotype can be transmitted to adjacent normal cells where it has been found that cell-cell contact-dependant signalling plays a substantial role in OIS propagation and early tumour development. To understand the role of non-autonomous aspects of senescence regarding premalignancy and the risk of malignant progression it is important to understand how premalignant cells communicate with their neighbouring cells. To this end the PDRA will combine cell biology with microfluidic techniques to develop a co-culture system that allows real-time characterisation of cell-cell communication at single cell resolution.

The PDRA should have a PhD in cell biology, biochemistry or biological chemistry or a related discipline. Prior experience with microfluidics is an advantage but not required.

Applicants will be expected to work in an interdisciplinary environment and interact with a team of scientist with a wide range of expertise in biophysics and biophysical chemistry.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

For queries regarding the post, please contact Camilla Jefferies

Please quote reference MA11130 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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