Postdoc Position at University of Cambridge

Applicants are invited to apply for a postdoctoral associate position in molecular biology at University of Cambridge, UK. Candidates are welcome before February 06, 2019.

The Hannon laboratory at the CRUK Cambridge Institute (part of the University of Cambridge) is seeking to hire a motivated Research Associate (post-doctoral level), with strong skills in molecular and cell biology, to join the IMAXT laboratory, a recently established research group within the institute, and collaborate at the realisation of the IMAXT project.

The IMAXT project is an ambitious and exciting endeavour launched by the Hannon laboratory and a group of international collaborators, aimed at producing tri-dimensional maps of breast tumours with single cells resolution and high-content molecular information (gene expression, mutational signatures, protein expression). With this, we hope to build a tool that will help us analyse the interactions between tumour and host with the resolution to understand the behaviour and contributions of each individual cell. Specifically, we will use this to investigate the genetic and phenotypic diversity of breast tumours, and how these properties evolve during the progression of the disease through the interaction between the tumour and its surrounding micro-environment.

The team will combine cutting edge high-throughput imaging and measurement technologies like serial two-photon tomography, imaging mass cytometry, multiplexed fluorescence in-situ hybridization and in-situ sequencing to produce molecularly annotated 3D maps of biopsies and whole tumours, both in mouse models and on patient samples obtained from the clinic. The data will be represented as a computerized model which will be visualized using a variety of methods including virtual reality, and analysed in depth to formulate hypotheses that will then be tested in ad-hoc animal models that will be developed internally.

1 – Complete the development of a novel mouse model of the tumour micro-environment, in which multiple fluorescent proteins are used to enable the simultaneous labelling of all the cell types contributing to the tumour niche.

2 – Develop and optimize novel tools to measure the transcriptomic state of cells in situ on tumour sections. We are implementing merFISH, a technology allowing the simultaneous measurement of 140 genes in situ. The role holder will develop methods to improve the reliability, efficiency and throughput of this technique, or explore the use of different technologies like in-situ sequencing or similar, to enable the measurements of thousands of genes in challenging tissue types.

It is expected, that the role holder will have a significant input over the direction of its own project and will contribute its own original and innovative ideas. As the project progresses, the research focus is expected to shift from technology establishment to a stronger emphasis on data analysis and validation of specific hypotheses.

The successful candidates should have (or be about to receive) a Ph.D in a relevant discipline. They should have a strong background in molecular biology and cell biology, with prior experience in the field. Some knowledge of microscopy (widefield, confocal), chemistry and data analysis (R, linux shell, analysis of sequencing results) is highly desirable, as well as prior experience on technology development. Candidates are expected to be good communicators, creative thinkers, and to be able to find novel solutions to problems and to take a leading position in furthering their areas of the project. Ability to collaborate effectively with people with different backgrounds in a multi-disciplinary environment is also highly valued.

For further reference and a list of relevant papers, see

For up to date information about the other projects in the Hannon research group, including our most recent publications, please see our website at:

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 April 2022 in the first instance.

The post is full-time but applications are welcome from those who would like to work flexibly.

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

The closing date is 6 February 2019, with the interview date to be confirmed.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. 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.


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