University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


MRC Postdoctoral Fellow

The MRC Toxicology Unit is an internationally renowned institution focussed on the delivery of field-changing mechanistic insights into toxicology and disease. The Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development. The Unit is part of the University of Cambridge, it is currently located at Leicester and will physically relocate to Cambridge in 2020. The post holder will therefore be undertaking part of their employment at the Unit's current premises in Leicester.

We are looking to appoint an MRC Postdoctoral Fellow (PF) to join the scientific group led by Professor Gerry Melino, working on cancer biology with a particular focus on p53-family. The group was established in January 2003 and publishes extensively in high impact journals. The candidate will have also the opportunity to collaborate with other groups within the MRC Toxicology Unit (Anne E. Willis) and in external laboratories (Tak W. Mak in Toronto, Doug R. Green in Memphis, Eleonora Candi in Rome, Karen H. Vousden in London, Michael Karin in San Diego).

p53 tumour suppressor protein is critical in cancer biology for its role in cell cycle regulation, maintenance of genomic stability, metabolism and cell motility. Later discovered p53 homologues - p73 and p63 share remarkable structural and functional similarity with p53. Mutations of p53 and altered expression of p73 in cancer are associated to prognosis, chemo-resistance and metastasis. By using different in vivo mouse cancer models (some of which have just been established in our laboratory) as well as in vitro cellular systems, the project will focus on high throughput genomics to identify the main alterations in the genomic networks associated to p53 family-dependent metastasis and chemo-resistance phenotypes.

This is a three-year training and development position. We support postdoctoral scientists in these positions with a range of formal and on-the-job training to ensure you receive the training relevant to your role and identify additional training to help support your future career.

Applicants must have (or be in the final stages of receiving) a higher degree (PhD) in a relevant discipline and have experience Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Oncology. Experience in cancer biology is desirable. The ability to publish high quality research in a peer reviewed journal; to be able to work both independently and as part of a team, together with excellent communication and problem-solving skills are required.

Further information on the Toxicology Unit can be found at

Project Outline: The aim of this research programme is to investigate the role of the p53 family in the cellular stress response in order to understand the molecular basis underling the mechanisms for tumour transformation and progression. To this end, we will focus on the contribution of p53 family i) to adaption to micro- environmental stress, investigating the role of p53 family members and isoforms to stress and protein synthesis and ii) to genotoxic stress response, investigating new p53 family effectors of DNA damage response machinery. The work includes biochemical methods both in vitro and in vivo, with a structural biology collaboration.

Fixed-term: 3 years.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a basic disclosure (criminal records check) check and a health assessment.

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.

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Rebecca Heatherley on

Please quote reference PU15327 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.

Further information

Apply online