University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


The role of macrophages in endometrial carcinoma - AZ funded Nonclinical PhD Studentship in immunology

Applications are invited for 4-year PhD studentship based in the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge and the new AstraZeneca Discovery Centre at Cambridge. The student will be working on a collaborative project jointly supervised by Dr. Naomi McGovern at the Department of Pathology, and Dr. Elina Timosenko and Dr. Tim Slidel at AstraZeneca and will work across the two sites. The project, entitled "The role of macrophages in endometrial carcinoma" is in the fields of immunology, oncology and bioinformatics that have generated much excitement in both academia and industry.

Project abstract

Endometrial cancer is common, accounting for ~3% of all cancers in the UK (2016-2018). Its precursor is endometrial hyperplasia where the glands expand and the stroma is enriched with macrophages. As the glands continue to grow, they become more crowded with atypical cells, the intervening stroma is compressed, and foamy macrophages appear.

In other cancers, macrophages in the tumour microenvironment influence its progression and metastatic potential. Little is known about the role of macrophages in the progression from normal endometrium to endometrial hyperplasia and then endometrial cancer.

Through this studentship the role of macrophages in endometrial cancer will be explored using a range of cutting-edge techniques including single cell RNA sequencing, confocal microscopy and in vitro functional assays. This project will utilise both dry and wet lab skills.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual capable of thinking and working independently. As a large component of the project will involve transcriptomic data analysis, the applicant must be keen to develop bioinformatic skills. Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a first or upper second-class degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university, in a relevant subject such as immunology, bioinformatics and/or oncology. These positions are open to UK citizens or overseas students who meet the UK residency requirements (home fees) or are able to augment the funds to cover the extra costs associated with international student fees through scholarships or funding schemes. University's entrance requirements and scholarships are specified here :

Full funding covering Maintenance fees at £21,500 per annum and the University Composition Fee is provided for the studentship, with effect from 1 October 2024.

Applications should include academic transcripts, CV, statement of purpose and 2 references.

Please use this link to apply:

Interviews will likely be held on the 16-20th of October.

As a graduate student at Cambridge, you will have access to a wide range of training opportunities and benefit from close supervision provided by a primary and secondary PhD supervisor as well as a personal mentor.

During their PhD, there is no taught or examined coursework, but students are encouraged to attend the wide variety of lectures and training courses available to them across the Institute and wider University. This includes a centrally run Statistics course and the University Core Skills Training Programme, which includes sessions on Time Management, Presentation and Performance and Scientific Writing. Students at the Institute will be members of the University's Postgraduate School of Life Sciences (PSLS) who offer a wide variety of core skills and professional development training. Visit the Researcher Development page here; website for more information. In addition, the student can also take advantage of training courses and seminars in therapeutic sciences offered by Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences.

All students are expected to attend all seminars held within the Dept of Pathology. Students will also be encouraged to attend and present at the annual AstraZeneca students symposium.

For further info please contact Naomi McGovern:

Please quote reference PK38256 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Diversity and Inclusion

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. We place major emphasis on the importance of team work and an enjoyable work environment as a foundation for performing internationally leading research. This will allow the student to acquire cutting edge research methodologies in a supportive environment, where they can focus on making the best possible scientific progress.

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