Human Resources

Postdoctoral Research Assistant - QMUL24358

Department: School of Engineering & Materials Science
Salary: £34,220 - £36,098 per annum (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL24358
Location: Mile End
Date posted: 06-Apr-2021
Closing date: 16-May-2021

Job profile Apply online


About the Role                  

Applications are invited for a full-time Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work on a research project funded by the European Research Council, within the groups of Prof. Julien Gautrot and Prof. Frances Balkwill.

This project aims to develop novel models of cancer cell infiltration and migration within adipose tissues. Such process plays an important role in metastasis and tumour progression. In contrast to migration and invasion through fibrillar extra-cellular matrix environments (e.g. ECM such as collagen or fibrin gels) which have been used extensively as models of cell migration, adipose tissues display high cellularity (in particular in volume fraction) and particularly compact ECM phases. Synthetic gels typically do not allow recreating such architecture. However, our lab recently developed platforms enabling the control of the nano- to micro-structure of hydrogels at multiple length scales. This project proposes to use this technology in order to study the impact of such architecture on cell adhesion, protrusion and migration in 3D artificial ECM, and in turn the impact of such processes on malignant cell invasion.

This project, a collaboration between the labs of Prof. Julien Gautrot and that of Prof. Frances Balkwill, will also make use of the unique expertise developed in the Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), at QM, in the understanding of the high grade serous ovarian cancer microenvironment and associated multi-cellular in vitro models.

About You

Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent in Cancer Biology Molecular Biology or Biophysics. Experience in microscopy and in the fields of soft matter chemistry and mechanics, self-assembly and biointerfaces, is also desirable.

About the School/Department/Institute/Project

This post is within the School of Engineering and Materials Science, a large School with 70-80 academics and a similar number of postdoctoral research staff. There are around 1000 undergraduate and taught postgraduate students and 220 PhD students. These are supported by an administrative and technical staff team of 45. The staff and student body are international in make-up.


We offer competitive salaries, access to a generous pension scheme, 30 days’ leave per annum (pro-rata for part-time/fixed-term), a season ticket loan scheme and access to a comprehensive range of personal and professional development opportunities. In addition, we offer a range of work life balance and family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, and campus facilities including an on-site nursery at the Mile End campus.

The post is based at the Mile End Campus in London. It is full time, fixed term appointment for 36 months, with an expected start date of 01 September 2021. The starting salary will be in the range of £34,220 - £36,098 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance.

Queen Mary’s commitment to our diverse and inclusive community is embedded in our appointments processes. Reasonable adjustments will be made at each stage of the recruitment process for any candidate with a disability. We are open to considering applications from candidates wishing to work flexibly.

Details about the Biointerface Laboratory can be found at and about the School of Engineering and Materials Science at


Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Julien Gautrot at

To apply for the role, please click the ‘apply’ button below.

The closing date for applications is 16th May 2021.

Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.

Apply online