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View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Structural Studies - Dr Madan Mohan - LMB 522

Open Date
07/04/2017 11:40
Close Date
07/05/2017 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably X-ray crystallography of proteins, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

With the new laboratory the LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.

MRC - 4
£30,162 - £32,975
Fixed Term
Full Time
2 Years

Overall purpose:

To work within the Group of M. Madan Babu at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at understanding the role of disordered regions in disease. Specifically to undertake research to investigate splice variants of the androgen receptor and their role in prostate cancer.

This project will explore the rewiring of transcriptional regulatory and protein interaction networks in castration recurrent prostate cancer (CRPC) that is driven by alternatively spliced variants of androgen receptor. The project proposes to link molecular recognition to differences in co-regulator recruitment, transcription profile and tumour phenotype and will involve generation of samples of prostate cancer cells, RNA and proteins for analysis by collaborators and extensive bioinformatics studies to generate a systems-level model of how splice variants rewire biological networks.

This is a collaborative project with AstraZeneca (AZ) and will involve interaction with scientists in AZ research labs in Cambridge with access to equipment and expertise.

Main duties:

•  To undertake research aimed at systems level characterization of the androgen receptor splice variants.
•  To culture mammalian cells and make protein and RNA samples for analyses by collaborators.
•  To perform extensive bioinformatics studies and programming involving sequence analysis, network analysis, and NGS data analysis.
•  To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.
•  To present scientific work at seminars within the Laboratory and at external meetings.
•  To contribute to Laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the field.
•  To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
•  To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
•  To assist in the training of PhD Students and other members of the LMB.

Key Responsibilities:

Within the overall direction of the programme, the Group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within a 2 year lifespan.

To plan your own work and objectives on a 12 month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.

To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.

To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.

To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.

To contribute to the smooth running of the Group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.

To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.

Working relationships:

You will report to Dr Madan Babu Mohan and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support Staff and Students, not only in your Group, but also across the LMB and with external Groups as necessary. This is a collaborative project with AstraZeneca and will involve interaction with scientists in AZ research labs in Cambridge and access equipment and expertise. You will also report to Dr Mark McAlister in AZ.

Additional information:

This is a two-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. You will get the choice upon appointment of undertaking a Career Development Fellowship or the MRC Post-Doctoral Training Scheme.  We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:

•  MRC training courses.
•  External training and personal development courses.
•  One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.

You will commit to undertaking the following:
•  Developing and following a personal development plan.
•  Attending training courses.
•  Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.

Academic qualifications:

PhD in a biological subject or due to complete doctoral studies within 6 months of applying (in a biological subject).

A PhD in systems biology, genomics and computational biology programmes is desirable.

Technical skills and expertise:

Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project.  Particularly useful would be experience in genome-scale bioinformatics analysis, programming, NGS data analysis, network analysis (transcription and protein networks) with lab-based biological research experience in working with DNA, cells &/or proteins.  

Experience in mammalian cell culture, sample preparation for RNA and protein analyses are desirable.

Track record of research:

This will include discoveries and achievements, and contributions to published papers.

The ability to carry out and publish both genome-scale experimental and computational work is desirable.

Other relevant evidence of:

•  Commitment.
•  Originality.
•  Ability to communicate.
•  Working with others.

Additional information:

Proven skills in working independently to solve experimental problems. Also worked on collaborative projects involving multiple labs.

Strong skills and experience in working collaboratively as a member of a team and ability to communicate effectively with external collaborators.

Motivated with a strong desire for self and team development.

Versatile, flexible and willing to work in both wet-biology and dry-computational environments to progress the research project.

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.

The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a final salary pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, as well as the chance to put the MRC on your CV in the future.


Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.


Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.

This opportunity is closed to applications.