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Research Associate



The negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is still having on life and economies worldwide has raised awareness, both in the scientific community and the public, that airways are essential to our health and wellbeing. Moreover, the most recent systematic analysis of the global burden of disease, which includes data from more than 200 nations, shows that the largest increase in risk of disease results from exposure to pollution from ambient particulate matter (PM).
The ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Airway Protection’ research group, led by Vito Mennella, is focussed on investigating pathways that are regulated during airway cells differentiation and mucociliary clearance, a key process protecting lung epithelial surface, when exposed to inhaled toxicants such as particulate matter, microplastics and infectious agents in healthy and disease states.
We are looking for a highly independent Research Associate with strong experience in airway biology, primary airway cellular models, organoids or stem cell biology to join our group. The ideal candidate will have extensive supervision experience of trainees and track record of timely project delivery. The post-holder will be expected to develop her/his own projects, in line with lab strategic interests.
The project offers the exciting opportunity to integrate airway molecular and cell biology methods with advanced imaging technologies (Super-resolution Microscopy and FIB-SEM) and high-throughput protein-protein interactions methods (Bio-ID) to enable characterisation/obtain novel insights on multiprotein signalling complexes that regulate airway defence during environmental exposure. Knowledge of but not restricted to CRISPR/Cas9 methods, cell isolation methods for scRNAseq and lentivirus-based assays are particularly welcomed.
The MRC Toxicology Unit is an internationally renowned institution focussed on the delivery of field-changing mechanistic insights into toxicology and disease. The Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities fully supported as central core facilities with unlimited access including super resolution microscopy, mass spectrometry, Cryo-EM, advanced flow-cytometry and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development.
Applicants must hold a PhD in a relevant discipline such as molecular biology, cell biology and related fields. The ability to work both independently and as part of a team, together with excellent communication and critical thinking skills are also essential.
Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for three years in the first instance.
Further information on the Toxicology Unit can be found at (https://www.mrc-tox.cam.ac.uk)

Informal enquiries are invited and can be directed to Dr Vito Mennella ([email protected]). If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact [email protected]


Relevant publications:

References:

• 1. GBD 2019. The Lancet, 2019. PMID 33069326
• 2. WHO. Review of the Evidence on Health Aspects of Air Pollution, 2013.
• 3. Kelly F. European Respiratory Journal, 2019. PMID 30872558
• 4. AlJanahi et al. Methods and Clinical Development 2018, PMID 30094294
• 5. Liu et al. Science Translational Medicine, 2020, PMID 32188719
• 6. Sydor et al. Trends in Cell Biology, 2015, PMID 26546293
• 7. Kubota Y Microscopy, 2015, PMID 25564566
• 8. Liu et al. Developmental Cell, 2020 PMID 33038333
• 9. Nguyen et al. Developmental Cell, 2020 PMID 33038334


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