Research Associate in Biology

University of Cambridge

A Research Associate/Assistant position is available in the group of Prof. Walid T. Khaled at the Department of Pharmacology and Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge.

The laboratory focuses on studying breast tumour initiation with the aim of developing novel early detection methods and therapeutic interventions. Using single cell genomics, the team has mapped the precancerous cellular changes that occur in BRCA1 mouse and human breast tissue (Bach et al 2017, Bach and Pensa 2021 and Reed and Pensa 2023). This allowed the team to identify 6 drugs that could be used for preventative therapies. In this three-year CRUK funded project the team will test the efficacy of these drugs in preventing tumour development in the mouse and assess their mechanism of action using single cell genomic approaches. The team will also assess the utility of a novel blood biomarker identified in the lab to verify if it could help guide such preventive treatments in the future. At the end of the project, the team aims to be in a position to justify testing some of these drugs in a pilot clinical trial.


To deliver on this exciting project the team is looking for an enthusiastic and dynamic Research Associate (Postdoc) OR Research Assistant that wants to transform how we treat cancer. The team is looking for a postdoctoral scientist (or soon to be awarded their PhD) to lead on the analysis of the single cell genomics data. You will be responsible for the experimental design, analysis, interpretation of the results, presenting the data and communicating with internal and external stakeholders. The ideal candidate will have demonstrable experience in analysing single cell genomic data. In addition, for this role we are also keen to hear from recent graduates (BSc or MSc level) in Mathematics or Physics particularly if they are interested in applying their analytical skills to tackling biological problems and improving patients' outcomes. However, it is important that you have a strong background in statistics and some experience in R or Python for this role. Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance (funded by CRUK) subject to a probation period and performance review. To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

The closing date is 2nd October 2023. Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof. Walid T. Khaled, ( or Dr. Sara Pensa (

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Jenny Baptista (

Please quote reference PL38111 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.

Apply online