University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a research assistant position within the Molecular and Computational Diagnostics Group of Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld at the CRUK Cambridge Institute. The Rosenfeld lab pioneers new approaches for non-invasive molecular diagnostics and analysis of cancer genomes and evolution, using next-generation sequencing of circulating cell-free tumour DNA (ctDNA). We work with large collections of patient material from different clinical studies (encompassing a variety of cancer types), which we analyse by both genome-wide methods and targeted methods for sensitive mutation detection. We aim to build novel tools for cancer diagnostics by developing improved methods and demonstrating clinical utility.

Previous work in the group has shown that ctDNA analysis can be used for detection and monitoring of tumour burden in late stage disease (Forshew et al. Sci Transl Med. 30;4(136):136ra68, Murtaza et al., Nature 497(7447):108-112, Dawson et al., NEJM 368(13):1199-1209). Current work focuses on clinical applications in low burden disease where ctDNA levels are currently at the limit of detection, including the optimisation of high sensitivity assays for ctDNA detection and quantification in early stage cancers and minimal residual disease (following treatment with curative intent). Sensitive and specific tests in these clinical settings could have a significant impact on mortality rates in several cancer types. Furthermore, efforts are being made to understand and utilise the biology of ctDNA, including whether information surrounding its origin and representation in the circulation be used for clinical impact. The successful candidate will be primarily lab based ¿ carrying out general lab duties as well as supporting other members of the team with their projects.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary, translational research group and contribute to the development of new diagnostic approaches. Applicants should have a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in a relevant scientific discipline, as well as practical molecular biology experience. Experience of PCR and next-generation sequencing would be an advantage. Good communication and organisational skills will be key to coordinate projects with clinical collaborators, bioinformaticians and other researchers in the group.

This is a short-term position with funding available for six months in the first instance.

Informal enquiries may be made to or via our website

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 security check.

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.

The closing date is 29th May 2018, with the interview date to be confirmed.

Please send applications in the following format: a CV, including full details of previous training and research experience to date; the names and contact details of two referees including email address and phone number; a covering letter explaining why you want to join our team and what you will bring to the project.

Please quote reference SW15585 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