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Research Fellow in Mammary Stem Cell Biology

Developmental Biology

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £36,914 per annum
Full Time, Fixed Term until 31/01/2022
Closing Date:  Thursday 25 June 2020
Interview Date:   Thursday 23 July 2020
Reference:  1266420BJ

A full time fixed term Research Fellow position is available in the laboratory of Mammary Stem Cell Biology & Breast Cancer headed by Dr. Salah Elias at the School of Biological Science (SoBS) – University of Southampton (UoS), to study the mechanisms of asymmetric cell division during mammary gland development and homeostasis. The position is available until 31/01/2022 in the first instance funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

The Project

Our lab focusses on studying the mechanisms that regulate mammary stem cell fate and dynamics in normal development and breast cancer. This exciting project is a collaboration between our group and Dr. Philip Greulich group based at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UoS. It will employ combined cutting-edge in vivo single-cell lineage tracing, quantitative three-dimensional (3D) high-resolution imaging and next generation sequencing as well as mathematical/computational modelling to (1) identify novel mechanisms that control mitotic spindle orientation in mammary stem cells; and (2) determine how these mechanisms influence cell fate outcomes in the differentiating mammary epithelium. The outcomes of this collaborative project are expected to provide important novel insight into the identity, dynamics and potential of mammary stem cells. 

The Successful Candidate

We are looking for a creative, ambitious and skilled Postdoctoral Researcher Scientist willing to challenge an innovative project by adopting a pro-active attitude and an analytical approach, with a strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. 

You will be responsible for the development of the project, which includes experimental design, data collection and interpretation. You will work in collaboration with Dr. Greulich group who will use mathematical modelling to compare the generated experimental data with predictions from stochastic models for cell fate dynamics, and test the project’s hypotheses via Bayesian inference. You are also expected to contribute to new ideas for research projects, develop ideas for writing grant proposals, prepare scientific reports, write up results for publication in international peer-reviewed journals, assist other members of our group or people working on collaborative projects to become familiar with new methodologies, and act as a source of information and advice on scientific protocols. 

You will hold a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in stem cell and/or developmental biology (or related field). A strong evidence of proficiency in cell biology and quantitative advanced microscopy in vivo is necessary. You will have experience in animal models and have a personal licence to work with rodents or be prepared to obtain such a licence via attendance of in-house courses. Experience in molecular biology techniques including Next Generation Sequencing is desirable. Basic understanding of computational/mathematical modelling would be advantageous. You will be friendly and have excellent interpersonal skills with a desire to communicate with other researchers whilst maintaining the highest level of professionalism at all times.

The Environment 

At SoBS, we use cutting-edge technologies for innovative research to define the basis of human health and disease, and develop interventions that benefit peoples’ lives. There is a strong interdisciplinary research focus bringing together researchers from Biological and Medical Sciences, Computer Sciences, Physics and Mathematical Sciences with experimental work housed in a £45 million building that encompasses cutting-edge research infrastructures. Our Imaging Microscopy Centre (IMC) provides access to several advanced optical microscopic modalities equipped to perform the 3D imaging of this proposal. Excellent Specific-Pathogen-Free (SPF) Animal and Histology Facilities are also available. SoBS offers a supportive and dynamic research environment, with comprehensive training and career development opportunities. You will have full access to all resources and undertake appropriate training in the use of the equipment of our state-of-the-art core facilities to accomplish your studies. SoBS has an outstanding Stem Cell and Developmental research theme, in which our group is perfectly embedded, with excellent potential for collaborations that extend to the closely located Cancer Sciences where breast cancer research is very active. You will thrive within a unique international, stimulating and challenging research environment, with an outstanding international research seminar series in addition to Stem Cells and Quantitative Biology-centred meetings co-organized by SoBS and Mathematical Sciences. The proximity of SoBS and Mathematical Sciences and the specialized expertise that each contributes provides the unique environment required to achieve the maximum impact of this project.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Salah Elias and/or Dr. Philip Greulich 

 Given COVID-19 outbreak, virtual interviews will be held using Microsoft Teams, Skype or equivalent.

Equal Opportunities and Benefits

SoBS holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award, demonstrating commitment to equal opportunities and gender balance in the workplace. 

The University of Southampton has a generous maternity policy and onsite childcare facilities; employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme. Other benefits include state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

Application Procedure

How to Apply: Please include (1) a cover letter outlining your scientific interests, describing how you meet the requirements of the position, and an outline of future goals; (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) contact information for at least two references.

You should submit your completed application form online at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. References are requested along with your application, so please allow time for these to be received prior to the close date, to assist the department with shortlisting. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote vacancy reference number 1266420BJ on all correspondence.

*Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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