Assistant/Associate Researcher in Pathology

University of Cambridge

Assistant/Associate Researcher of Pathology

The Aitken lab is based at the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Cambridge, which is a world-leading centre for mechanistic biology, home to diverse research groups and cutting-edge facilities, and offers excellent opportunities for scientific career development.

Our lab is a diverse team of researchers spanning multiple scientific disciplines, including cancer biology, genomics, digital pathology, and bioinformatics. Our overall aim is to investigate mechanisms of cellular damage, and to understand their consequences for human health and disease. We use experimental and data-driven approaches to study genomic, cellular, and tissue-level responses to injury, and aim to identify molecular mechanisms which are dysregulated in disease, including cancer.

We are looking for a highly collaborative Research Associate (postdoc) with experience in genomics to join our expanding team. The project will investigate the relationship between the molecular (genomic) and phenotypic (pathology) consequences of DNA damage in tumours and normal tissues. You will develop and apply state-of-the-art technologies, including spatial genomics/transcriptomics, digital pathology, and image analysis, with a focus on gastrointestinal and liver disease.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in a relevant field (biomedicine, biology, bioinformatics, medicine, or equivalent), and experience with a range of molecular biology, library preparation, and genomics techniques; computational experience is highly desirable but not required. We are particularly interested in candidates with experience working with human tissue, spatial transcriptomics/genomics, laser capture microdissection, and/or image analysis. Candidates are expected to have excellent communication, organisational, and problem-solving skills, as well as creativity, curiosity, and aptitude to work both independently and contribute intellectually to other projects developed in the laboratory.

Relevant publications:

  1. CJ Anderson, L Talmane, J Luft, SJ Aitken, MS Taylor. Strand-resolved mutagenicity of DNA damage and repair. bioRxiv. 2022; 2022.06.10.495644.
  2. SWK Ng, FJ Rouhani, SF Brunner, N Brzozowska, SJ Aitken, M Yang, et al. Convergent somatic mutations in metabolism genes in chronic liver disease. Nature. 2021;598:473-478.
  3. SJ Aitken, CJ Anderson, F Connor, O Pich, V Sundaram, C Feig, et al. Pervasive lesion segregation shapes cancer genome evolution. Nature. 2020;583:265-270.
  4. SF Brunner, ND Roberts, LA Wylie, L Moore, SJ Aitken, SE Davies, et al. Somatic mutations and clonal dynamics in healthy and cirrhotic human liver. Nature. 2019;574:538-542.
  5. SJ Aitken, X Ibarra-Soria, E Kentepozidou, P Flicek, C Feig, JC Marioni, et al. CTCF maintains regulatory homeostasis of cancer pathways. Genome Biology. 2018;19:106.

Appointment at Research Associate is dependent on having a PhD. Where a PhD has yet to be awarded or submitted, appointment will initially be made as a Research Assistant and amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded.

Further information can be found on our website:

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact the HR team at

Fixed-term: The position is available for 3 years in the first instance. Funding is from the MRC.

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Further information on the Toxicology Unit can be found at (

Please quote reference PU36777 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online