University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge wishes to appoint a postdoctoral scientist to join Dr Julien Prudent's research group in the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge.

The postholder will work within a programme focused on understanding mitochondrial dynamics and membrane contact sites as key regulators of cell fate decisions. Mitochondria form a dynamic and interconnected network that is constantly remodelled by cycles of membrane fission and fusion. These dynamic transitions are essential not only for proper mitochondrial function but also for responding to cellular needs and adapt to the metabolic state of the cell. To execute cellular functions, mitochondria establish membrane contact sites with other organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, trans-Golgi network vesicles and lysosomes. These membrane contact sites are hotspots for metabolites flux and tightly regulate mitochondrial shape and architecture. While defects in mitochondrial morphology or contact sites have been associated with human diseases, the molecular mechanisms linking mitochondrial membrane remodelling to cell fate decisions are not fully understood.

The goal of the project is to i) apply cutting-edge microscopy methods coupled with biochemical analysis to study the molecular mechanisms regulating mitochondrial morphology, ii) investigate how mitochondria-organelle contact sites drive mitochondrial membrane remodelling and mtDNA dynamics, and iii) elucidate the relevance of these events to mitochondria and mtDNA quality control, as well as to inflammation and to human disease.

Candidates will have (or be about to be awarded) a PhD in biological sciences and have a track record of related research achievements. Knowledge of mitochondrial biology, membrane dynamics and experience of microscopy are essential.

This is a fixed term training programme post until 31 March 2027.

The MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit is a world-renowned centre for research in respiratory enzymes. Additional information can be found at

Applicants should include a CV and covering letter with their application, along with contact information for three professional referees who can be contacted prior to interview.

The University of Cambridge is committed, in its pursuit of academic and research excellence, to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. The MBU is part of the School of Clinical Medicine, which holds an Athena Swan Silver Award and supports an Academic Women's Forum. The University particularly encourages women and candidates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to apply.

Closing date for applications: 14 July 2024

References from the lab related to the project: 1. Tabara LC et al, Cell, 2024 4. Nagashima S et al., Science, 2020 2. Zecchini V et al, Nature, 2023 5. Tabara LC et al., Trends in Cell Biology, 2021 (review) 3. Tilokani L et al., Science Advances, 2022 6. Tilokani et al, Essay in Biochemistry, 2018 (review)

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

Applicants must have (or be close to obtaining) a PhD.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will initially be appointed as a Research Assistant (Grade 5, Point 38 £31,411) moving to Research Associate (Grade 7) upon confirmation of your PhD award.

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 SM42028 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