Research Fellow in Cancer Molecular Biology

University of Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom

ID: 7076446 (Ref.No. FBSMB1188)
Posted: March 26, 2021

Job Description

Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have an established background in understanding the molecular basis of cancer? Do you want to further your career in one of the UKs leading research intensive Universities?

V(D)J recombination is vital to generate a diverse antibody repertoire but since this reaction involves the breakage and rejoining of DNA, it also poses a major risk to genome instability. Recently, we found a new way in which V(D)J recombination triggers genome instability: The by-products of recombination associate with the recombinase enzymes to trigger double strand breaks throughout lymphocyte genomes in a reaction we called “cut-and-run”. Notably, these breaks colocalise with those found in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) patients (Kirkham et al., Molecular Cell, 2019). Our previous studies analysed the DNA breaks in ALLs with a good prognosis. This project, funded by the Little Princess Trust, will extend these studies to test if cut-and-run also triggers genome instability in ALLs with a poor prognosis. It will use intricate molecular biology, cell biology and bioinformatics techniques to determine the cut-and-run breaks genome-wide. It will further analyse limited amounts of clinical samples to determine if the levels of the recombination by-product and/or recombinase influence the prognosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. In the longer term, it is hoped these studies will contribute to developing ways of blocking the dangers posed by the recombinase/by-product complex. To increase the chances of success of this short-term project, candidates with an intricate knowledge of V(D)J recombination will be preferred. 

You should have a PhD (or close to completion) in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or closely allied discipline. Experience in molecular biology, bioinformatics and the ability to produce high quality data using highly intricate molecular biology techniques is essential.

The University of Leeds and the Faculty of Biological Sciences are committed to providing equal opportunities for all and offer a range of family friendly policies. The University is a charter member of Athena SWAN (the national body that promotes gender equality in higher education), and the Faculty of Biological Sciences was awarded a Silver award in 2020.  We are proud to be an inclusive Faculty that values all staff, and are happy to consider job share applications and requests for flexible working arrangements from our employees. Our Athena SWAN webpage provides more information. 

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr. Joan Boyes, Associate Professor

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 3147, Email: 

Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Biological Sciences
School/Institute:  School of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Due to funding limitations, it is unlikely an appointment will be made above £33,797
Working Time:  37.5 hours per week
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (Six months)
Release Date:  Thursday 25 March 2021
Closing Date:  Thursday 22 April 2021
Reference:  FBSMB1188

The University community is made up of a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances, which we value and regard as a great asset. As part of our continued commitment to equality and inclusion, we strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and have a real opportunity to participate in and contribute to our activities.


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