University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Postdoctoral Research Assistant/Associate x 3

Applications are invited for three Research Assistant/Associate positions (Postdoctoral scientists) to work in the research group of Professor Steve Jackson at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge,

DNA in our cells is frequently subject to a wide array of molecularly-distinct forms of damage. To cope with this, life has evolved multiple DNA repair and associated processes, collectively termed the DNA-damage response (DDR). While considerable progress has been made in identifying DDR components and their regulators, much remains to be learned about how they operate and are controlled.

Building on successful recent work in our laboratory (see below), the research projects will be based on the experimental concepts of genetic enhancement and suppression (aka. synthetic lethality and synthetic viability, respectively). With assistance from a dedicated, experienced Research Assistant, each post-holder will carry out genome-wide and focused genetic screens in mammalian cells via state-of-the-art CRISPR-Cas9 approaches. Together with ensuing validation and mechanistic studies, their research will:

  • Identify novel genetic and functional relationships between DDR genes/proteins, and between these and other cellular components, thereby providing fundamental insights into how mammalian cells respond to DNA damage and defining how such responses are controlled and coordinated.
  • Expand our knowledge of how DDR processes are affected by protein post-translational modifications, particularly ubiquitylation and phosphorylation.
  • Establish how defects and deregulation of certain DDR processes affect cellular sensitivity and resistance to established and emerging cancer therapies; and identify the potential clinical relevance of these affects in cancer and/or genetic diseases caused by DDR deficiencies.

The work will be multi-disciplinary, combining recently-established genome engineering and genetic screening approaches in human or mouse cells with next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry.


  • Dev et al., Nature Cell Biol. 2018, 20(8):954-965. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0140-1
  • Balmus et al., Nature Communications 2018 (in press). doi: 10.1101/330043
  • Velimezi et al. Nature Communications 2018, 9(1):2280. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018 04649-z
  • Forment et al., Nature Chemical Biol. 2017, 13(1):12-14. doi: 0.1038/nchembio.2226
  • Blackford and Jackson. Mol. Cell 2017, 66(6):801-817. doi:0.1016/j.molcel.2017.05.015
  • Jackson and Bartek. Nature 2009, 461(7267):1071-8. doi: 10.1038/nature08467

Candidates are expected to be independent and highly motivated and should have a PhD in cell or molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry or other related subject, or be close to completion of their degree. Candidates should have strong mammalian DDR experience and/or experience in CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering. Applicants should have excellent written and spoken English communication skills and should be able to work both independently and as part of a team.

The positions offer a competitive salary and enjoy the diverse, vibrant and highly supportive research environment of the Gurdon Institute and the University of Cambridge.

Limited funding: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

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.

Applications should include a CV, a brief statement outlining key areas of expertise and reasons why you would like to join the group. If you have any questions about these vacancies please or the application process please contact Please quote reference PR17328 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. Benefits include generous maternity/paternity leave, flexible working, funds for returning careers and other family-friendly schemes.

The Gurdon Institute is committed to equality and diversity in the workplace, for more information go to:

Further information

Apply online