University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


PhD Studentship - Environmental exposures permanently modify the developing epigenome

Project Description

The MRC Toxicology Unit is a leading international research institute within the School of Biological Sciences in the University of Cambridge. The research environment provides state of the art research facilities, with excellent opportunities for collaborative interaction within a vibrant community at the University of Cambridge.

Project Outline

Mammalian pregnancy represents a critical period in life, whereby lifelong changes can be caused by inappropriate development. My lab is interested in exploring the impact of environmental and pharmacological toxic insults during pregnancy on the offspring, with a particular focus on how the developing epigenome is affected. This project will explore the concept of a "window of sensitivity" during gestation, whereby the developing epigenome displays a heightened sensitivity to environmental exposures that would have altered or negligible impact later in life. The successful candidate will use in vitro and in vivo approaches to explore this concept and aims to explore whether any chances observed can be transmitted through to multiple generations. This project represents an ideal opportunity to learn a range of state-of-the-art techniques including, basic cell biology, molecular biology and bioinformatics tools to dissect the in vivo mechanisms of developmental exposure.

There are a variety of training modules and courses which students are encouraged to attend. In addition, students follow the Toxicology Unit's weekly external and internal seminar programs and are included in the postdoc/student forums which take place each month and offers excellent opportunities for collaboration and career development.

Applications will need to be made through the University Application Portal and will entail an application fee of £65. Please enter the project title in the 'Proposed title of Research' textbox.

Your online application needs to include:

  • A CV, including full details of all University course grades to date

  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees

  • A personal statement outlining your interest in the project area, what you hope to achieve from a PhD, and your research experience to date.

It is recommended that you contact the supervisor prior to making your formal application:

Formal applications should be submitted here:

More information about the research undertaken in the Van de Pette group can be found here:

Funding Notes

Candidates must expect to obtain qualifications at the level of a first-class or 2.1 Honours Degree in a biological science or related discipline.

Full funding is available to UK and EU applicants only.

Please quote reference PU21342 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.