Research Associate

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
28 Feb 2021
University of Cambridge
3 years

Job Details

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the group of Professor Michael Coleman in the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge.

The Coleman group carries out world-leading research into mechanisms of axon degeneration. The Department of Clinical Neurosciences is one of the largest Departments in the School of Clinical Medicine and is embedded in several sites on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The John Van Geest Building (VGB), located on the Forvie Site, hosts approximately 70 academic and associated research and administrative staff in a combination of laboratories, offices & clinic space.

The postholder will join a multi-centre collaboration with UCL, University of Oxford and Johns Hopkins Medical School (USA) to study the roles of a well-characterised and preventable mechanism of axon death in human neurodegenerative disease (see Coleman & Höke, 2020. Nat Rev Neurosci 21: 183-196). Areas of interest include peripheral neuropathies, motor neuron disease, Parkinson's disease, and retinal or optic nerve disorders. The precise project will be tailored to the existing skills and development goals of the successful candidate but expertise in human genetics, regulation of gene expression, transcriptomics and/or genomic database analysis would be particularly useful. The aims of the project include functional characterization of human gene variants in cell culture and in mice, and biomarker development.

Person Criteria

  • Educated to PhD level in a biological discipline relevant to the project.
  • Possess sufficient breadth or depth of knowledge in human genetics, regulation of gene expression, transcriptomics, genomic database analysis, cell culture, mouse genetics, immunochemistry, and/or enzyme and metabolite measurements to proceed with an appropriate level of independence in the agreed area of research.
  •  A strong understanding of neuroscience principles and the latest research, especially related to neuron and axon degeneration.
  • Experience of training and supervising other staff or students.
  • Use initiative and creativity to solve routine problems in relation to the research project, e.g. methodological/technical problems.
  •  Be able to take decisions in relation to research without reference to others, e.g. methodological/techniques to use for own research.
  • Will continually update knowledge in the specialist area and engage in continuous professional development.
  •  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Previous experience of working in collaboration with other researchers and working with others to take decisions on direction of the research project.
  • A strong track record in teamwork and interest in collaborating across multiple sites and disciplines
  • Ability to work flexibly.
  • Willingness to work with laboratory mice under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. 

How to Apply

Click here to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including e-mail address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Please quote reference ZE25603 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Contact Details

For questions relating to the post, please contact Professor Michael Coleman at