University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Senescence in Cancer) (Fixed Term)

We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate to better understand the role of cellular senescence in cancer and to identify and validate novel targetable biomarkers. The Research Associate will be based in the laboratory of Dr Daniel Munoz-Espin, Group Leader in the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge. This post funded by a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Programme Foundation Award is available from 1st October 2021.

One of the main goals of the Dr Munoz-Espin's research programme is the understanding of the mechanisms and processes that contribute to cancer initiation, progression and relapse, which remains a formidable challenge in oncology, and how to use this knowledge for the development of more efficient therapeutic strategies in precision medicine. We are looking for ambitious and highly motivated researchers to explore how senescence relates to cancer progression and recurrence, and to identify and validate novel targetable biomarkers of cellular senescence in 2D/3D cultures and in vivo, with a particular focus on lung tumours. Candidates must have a PhD in the biological or biomedical sciences, and significant experience working in cancer biology and/or cell senescence and in animal models. Skills in managing mouse models and procedures is essential for this post. Experience in patient-derived tumour xenografts (PDTXs) and/or generation of Organoids will be evaluated positively. International training and/or interconnections with the research industry would be desirable.

The successful applicant will have active access to cellular cancer models, genetically-engineered animal models of lung cancer and inducible ablation of cellular senescence, and also to primary cells from human tissue samples in collaboration with the Royal Papworth Hospital Research Tissue Bank (Cambridge). This work will be done in close collaboration with a competitive network of world-leading scientists, including consultant lung oncologists (Dr Robert Rintoul and Dr Gary Doherty at Papworth Hospital and Cambridge University Hospitals, respectively), experts in cellular senescence and screenings (Prof Manuel Serrano at IRB, Barcelona; Prof Greg Hannon and Prof Masashi Narita at CRUK Cambridge Institute; Dr Ultan McDermott at Sanger Institute/AstraZeneca), organic chemists and engineers (Prof Ramon Martinez-Manez at CIBER-BBN, Madrid; and Dr Ljiljana Fruk at Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) pharmaceutical partners (Senolytics Therapeutics SL, AstraZeneca), including the support of CRUK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and the Functional Genomics Centre in Cambridge. These studies will enable us to dissect the role of senescence in cancer and identify new therapeutic targets that will be further prioritised to develop novel pharmacologically-active drugs and delivery systems for tumour eradication. The ultimate goal is the translation of our novel tools into early-phase clinical trials, and our experimental designs are optimised to facilitate such transition.

The laboratory of Dr Munoz-Espin ( is part of the Early Detection Programme of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, (, which is core funded by Cancer Research UK ( Due to the internationally-renowned research institutions at the Cambridge Biomedical Research Campus (including the CRUK Cambridge Institute or the WT/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute), the connections with Addenbrooke¿s and Papworth¿s hospitals, an increase in the number of biotechnology companies (such as AstraZeneca or Abcam), and the academic excellence of the University, Cambridge has become a worldwide recognised core for cancer research. Our location affords our members ready access to state-of-the-art research equipment and clinical facilities, cancer animal models, human tissue samples, and the opportunity to forge collaborations with world-class laboratory scientists and clinicians.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Munoz-Espin at

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a security check.

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Closing Date: 30 September 2021

Interview Date: 13 October 20210

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. 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 email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Please quote reference RD26797 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