Human Resources

Postdoctoral Research Assistant - QMUL18335

Department: Blizard Institute
Salary: £37,411 - £39,483 per annum (pro rata) (Grade 5)
Reference: QMUL18335
Location: Whitechapel
Date posted: 09-Apr-2019
Closing date: 07-May-2019

Job profile Apply online


Blizard Institute

Centre for Genomics and Child Health

Post-doctoral Research Assistant – 6 months

Ref: QMUL18335

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistants to work on a BBSRC-funded project aiming to identify and functionally characterize the environmental responsiveness of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) variants in the human genome. The position will be based within the Centre for Genomics and Child Health in the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

How our genomes respond to stressful environments has a significant impact on health and disease states. Epigenetic down-regulation of ribosomal DNA is a key stress response mechanism in all eukaryotes. The Rakyan lab recently found that a suboptimal early-life environment results in increased DNA methylation at the rDNA promoter. Surprisingly, this epigenetic response remains into adulthood and is restricted to rDNA copies associated with a specific genetic variant within the rDNA promoter, representing a novel type of environmentally induced epigenetic dynamics that are dependent on underlying genetic variation (Holland et al., 2016, Science).

We are looking to hire a PDRA to help complete an ongoing study involving cell based models of rDNA gene regulation. The candidate must have prior research experience of ribosomal DNA, mammalian cell culture, including development of genetically modified models, epigenetics, and molecular biology.

The candidate will work in a world-class epigenetics research environment provided by the QMUL Epigenetics Hub (, along with exciting new cross-faculty QMUL initiatives in genomics and computational biology ( The Blizard Institute is the largest institute of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry and aims to deliver excellence in all aspects of research, teaching and clinical service.

The post is full time, fixed term appointment for 6 months, with an expected start date of 15 June 2019. Starting salary will be in the range of £37,411 - £39,483 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance. Benefits include 30 days annual leave, defined benefit pension scheme and interest-free season ticket loan.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Professor Vardhman Rakyan at or on +44 (0) 020 7882 8140.

Details about the school can be found at

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

The closing date for applications is Sunday 7th May 2019. Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.

The School of Medicine and Dentistry and Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science.

The School of Medicine holds a Silver Athena SWAN Award.  We are committed to the equality of opportunities and to advancing women’s careers. We have policies to support staff returning from long-term absence, for flexible arrangements for staff with parental responsibilities and for childcare support. As part of the School’s commitment to the Athena SWAN principles we strongly encourage applications from women.

Apply online