Research Associate in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience - University of Cambridge

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
21 Jul 2019
£32,236 to £39,609 per annum
Department of Clinical Biochemistry,
Fixed term for 24 months in the first instance

We are seeking a postdoctoral applicant to join an interdisciplinary team researching the links between metabolic and neurodegenerative disease. This position in the laboratory of Dr. Florian Merkle is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and will enable the successful applicant to join an international network using innovative approaches to tackle major, unmet challenges in human health.

The position at the University of Cambridge, UK, offers access to world-leading institutions for the study of metabolic disease, stem cell biology, neurodegeneration, and bioinformatics. The research will be performed in part with the aid of local collaborators who are leaders in their fields, including Profs. John Marioni, Giovanna Mallucci, and Sir Stephen O'Rahilly. The position is also unique in that it provides opportunities for structured career development including networking, mentorship, and professional training workshops organized by CZI. This position therefore provides an ideal opportunity for a highly-motivated scientist to advance their career.

You will help run a program of research to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to altered neuronal function in disease.

You will be required to:

- Perform molecular biological techniques including RT-qPCR, single-cell RNA sequencing, Western blotting, cloning, and CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing.

- Perform cellular techniques including human pluripotent stem cell culture, neuronal cell culture, directed differentiation to hypothalamic neurons and other cell type types, and histological analysis of cells and brain tissues including confocal and high-content imaging.

- Present research work and data within the Institute, nationally and internationally and to prepare and submit research for publication in peer-reviewed journals. 

- Work effectively as a team member within the lab and collaborate with local and international partners.

To be considered for this position, you must:

- Possess a Ph.D. (or equivalent research doctorate) in neuroscience, molecular or cellular biology, or a closely related field.

- Demonstrate mastery of basic molecular and cellular techniques

- Have a publication record that demonstrates innovation, rigor, and productivity

- Have proven communication skills, as supported by writing and presentation clarity and a track record of conference presentations

- Demonstrate the ability to take leadership of (or participate in) collaborative projects, especially those involving multiple groups

You should have:

- Theoretical training and practical experience in inflammation, neurodegenerative biology, and/or metabolic disease

- Expertise in the culture of human pluripotent stem cells and primary rodent neural cells

- Expertise in bioinformatics and single-cell RNA sequencing

- Expertise in cloning and gene editing

- Expertise in advanced microscopy techniques and high-content imaging

Informal enquiries can be made to Florian Merkle (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:

The closing date is 21 July 2019, with interviews to be confirmed.

Please quote reference RG18331 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Contact Details

Florian Merkle: