Human Resources

Postdoctoral Research Associate (Bourke Group) - QMUL22888

Department: Blizard Institute
Salary: £34,220 - £36,098 per annum (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL22888
Location: Whitechapel
Date posted: 08-Dec-2020
Closing date: 19-Jan-2021

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About the Role

The post will be to assist in a Wellcome Trust and Royal Society-funded project investigating the relationship between innate immune cell function and infectious mortality and morbidity among undernourished children living in low- to middle-income countries (LMIC). The post-holder will join a new research team in the Centre for Genomics and Child Health at the Blizard Institute.

Undernourished children are more susceptible to infections than adequately-nourished children and this may be partly due to dysfunction in their cellular immune defences (Bourke et al, Trends Immunol, 2016; Bourke et al, Frontiers Immunol, 2019). The purpose of this post is to establish and implement a new programme of mechanistic laboratory work to explore how cell extrinsic factors associated with pediatric malnutrition influence innate immune cell activation and Pathogen Recognition Receptor signaling in vitro. Assays will include a range of laboratory techniques, with a particular focus on human functional immunology, quantitative protein assays. The post-holder will have a unique opportunity to interpret the functional immunology data generated through this project in the context of child health outcomes monitored over 48 weeks of nutritional recovery (HOPE-SAM; Bwakura-Dangarembizi et al, BMJ Open, 2019).

Although the post is based in London, much of the research is conducted in collaboration with biomedical research teams in Zimbabwe and Zambia and the Research Lead is based for part of the year in Zimbabwe. This post will therefore entail frequent teleconference communication with and infrequent visits to study sites in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

About You

The post-holder should have an enthusiasm for global health research and translational immunology. They should be confident to work independently with the appropriate attention to detail, record keeping and ethical standards commensurate with a project involving patient samples. The ability to play a lead role in laboratory assay development, implementation, trouble shooting, analysis and management is essential. The ideal candidate would be interested in contributing their knowledge/ideas to the project as well as their technical ability.


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 Whitechapel Campus in London. It is a full time, fixed term appointment for 2 years, with an expected start date of March/April 2021. The starting salary will be Grade 4, 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.


Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Claire Bourke at

Details about the institute can be found at

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

The closing date for applications is 19 January 2021.

Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.


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Apply online