University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate - Genetic interrogation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (Fixed Term)

We are looking for a talented and motivated post-doctoral scientist to join the laboratory of Dr. Richard Timms based in the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID).

The Timms lab applies the latest genetic technologies to identify novel functions for human genes. Our work is focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome system, where we seek to (1) identify substrates for E3 ubiquitin ligases, (2) characterise the molecular features that enable selective substrate recognition, and (3) explore how these processes are corrupted in the context of viral infection and autoimmune disease.

We exploit a range of high-throughput genetic screening techniques to uncover novel pathways regulated by the ubiquitin system. We measure the stability of GFP-tagged proteins by performing expression screens in human cells, either using a human ORFeome library comprising ~14,000 barcoded human ORFs or custom libraries generated through microarray-based oligonucleotide synthesis, and identify the cellular machinery involved by combining these expression screens with loss-of-function CRISPR/Cas9 screens. Detailed follow-up of individual pathways of interest is achieved through a variety of standard genetic and biochemical approaches.

Recent publications relevant to this position include:

  • Timms RT and Koren I (2020) Tying up loose ends: the N-degron and C-degron pathways of protein degradation. Biochem Soc Trans, 48 (4): 1557-1567.

  • Timms et al. (2019) A glycine-specific N-degron pathway mediates the quality control of protein N-myristoylation. Science, 365 (6448): eaaw4912.

  • Koren I, Timms RT et al. (2018) The Eukaryotic Proteome Is Shaped by E3 Ubiquitin Ligases Targeting C-Terminal Degrons. Cell, 173 (7): 1622-1635.

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The successful candidate will be passionate about genetics, eager to tackle difficult problems and be excited to develop novel experimental approaches to study gene function. Prior experience with mammalian cell culture, plasmid library cloning, lentiviral transduction, CRISPR genome editing, flow cytometry, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic data analysis (preferably in Python) would be advantageous, but an eagerness to learn and develop innovative methods is the only critical requirement, as we will teach you all of the necessary skills. You will play a key role in a small team, and so a friendly and collegial attitude is crucial.

You should have a PhD in a relevant subject, or be close to completion of your degree.

For further details or informal enquiries, please contact Richard via email (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Closing Date: 7th February 2021

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. Your covering letter should outline your research interests, areas of expertise and the reasons why you would like to join the lab. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including e-mail address and phone number, one of which must be your PhD supervisor.

Please quote reference RC24571 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.

Further information

Apply online