Research Assistant/Associate in Optogenetics and Live-Imaging

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
28 Oct 2019
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

The Buckley lab at the department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN), University of Cambridge is recruiting a Research Assistant or Research Associate to start in early 2020. The lab uses optogenetic and live confocal imaging approaches within the whole zebrafish neural tube and mammalian embryo stem cell (mESC) culture to manipulate the polarity of single cells. In combination with CRISPR-mediated functional knock down experiments, we are directly testing the role of cell polarity in building epithelial integrity during organ development and in breaking it during normal developmental processes such as EMT and during abnormal disease states. The department of PDN is home to world-leading research in development, neuroscience, zebrafish live imaging and optogenetics. It hosts the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre (CAIC), which provides cutting edge microscopy systems, bespoke development of new imaging equipment and expert support.

We are seeking an enthusiastic and proactive candidate to join the team near the beginning of this exciting research to help to push forward several projects in the lab. 1: Through our collaboration with the Zernicka-Goetz lab, we are currently investigating the role of cell adhesion in directing cell polarisation in the zebrafish neural tube and mESC models. We are developing ways of manipulating myosin contractility in these models, therefore changing the mechanical properties of the cells. 2: We are manipulating the subcellular localisation of apical polarity proteins such as Pard3 in order to determine how cell polarity and cell division are linked during epithelial establishment. 3: We are manipulating polarity-linked signalling pathways (such as the PI3K pathway) to test the role of polarity dysregulation in tissue disruption.

We are particularly interested in recruiting someone with experience in zebrafish genetics and molecular biology who can help us to further develop our in vivo optogenetic technology. More important, however, is that the candidate is determined, professional and is not afraid of a challenge! You should hold a degree in a relevant biological field and have a competitive history of research achievements. For those appointed at the Research Assistant level, there may be a possibility of registering for a PhD in the future. A PhD would be required for appointment at Research Associate level. Experience in CRISPR technology and advanced imaging and analysis would be a great advantage, as would knowledge and interest in one or more of the following: cell polarity and epithelial development, neuroscience, biochemical signalling pathways and optogenetics. The post is for 1 year in the first instance and funding is available for potential contract extension.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:
Closing date: 28 October 2019

Further Information

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.

Contact Details

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Dr Clare Buckley at

Please quote reference PM20687 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.