University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate - The chemical biology and function of natural modified DNA bases in genomes (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

We are seeking highly motivated postdoctoral scientists to work with Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian on a multidisciplinary Wellcome Trust-funded programme to investigate the chemistry and biology of nucleic acid base modifications. These positions are based in either the Department of Chemistry or Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Institute and are available from July 2018 onwards.

Chemical modifications to DNA bases impart essential epigenetic and regulatory functions. For example, while 5-methylcytosine is well-studied, little is known about its oxidised derivatives, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine and 5-carboxylcytosine or indeed any other modified base. Our lab employs and develops chemical, physical, biological and genomic approaches to investigate the presence of, and to gain mechanistic insights into modified base function in human, mouse and parasite genomes with a view to understanding their potential biological and clinical relevance.

Position 1 We are looking to appoint a chemist/chemical biologist with knowledge and experience of nucleic acid chemistry who can develop and apply molecular approaches to elucidate mechanisms. The candidate should possess strong laboratory skills in analytical methods, organic synthesis and molecular design. Ideally, the candidate will have an interest in molecular biology and biochemical methods.

Position 2 We wish to appoint a molecular/genome biologist/biochemist who will design and implement novel approaches to investigate the mechanisms associated with the regulation of modified bases and their signalling functions and to implement and exploit new genomics workflows. The candidate should possess strong laboratory skills; practical experience in using high-throughput sequencing (e.g. ChIP-seq/RNA-seq), genome editing, cell-based assays and nucleic acid biochemistry would be of particular advantage.

We seek individuals with excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team. The candidates should demonstrate a rigorous intellectual capacity for innovation and show exceptional initiative and independent thinking.

Candidates should have (or be about to receive) a PhD in a relevant discipline.  See for further information.

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 a 2-page 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 applying online for this post, please contact Jo Lockhart, PA to Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, email:

Please quote reference MA14813 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

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.

Further information

Apply online