The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research has established a new research initiative in fibrosis. The initiative is based on recent discoveries in the Centre, which provide a platform for novel approaches to the problem. Fibrosis is a complex process and contributes massively to all major chronic diseases, such as those affecting the kidney, liver, heart, lung and intestine. Our plan is thus for a new approach aimed at tackling the fundamental mechanisms that underpin fibrosis. Supported by generous funds from the Wellcome Trust, and building on the collaborative culture and excellence in training and technology development in the Centre, our goals are to elucidate pioneering concepts in cell-matrix research, and use these understand the basis of fibrosis.
To spearhead this initiative we are funding pilot projects, each driven by a postdoctoral associate. This post is funded initially for 2 years (and possibly 3 years) and it is the intention that in this period the successful candidates will be supported to develop their career and carry the work forward by attracting new research grant and/or fellowship funding. The project title is The circadian clock in goblet cells as a gate-keeper for mucosal matrix production.
The mucosal surface in the gut is the major site of invasion for foreign pathogens to get into the human body. The epithelial goblet cells are key cells that instruct and maintain this protective matrix barrier against environmental and infectious challenges. Circadian rhythms are generated by the cell intrinsic timing mechanism, which allows an organism to anticipate and respond to daily rhythmic changes in their environment. Our preliminary work has identified circadian rhythm as a regulatory mechanism for mucin production. In this project, we aim to use molecular cell biology, mouse genetics, organoid culture and RNAseq to define how the molecular circadian clock controls goblet cell function and mucin biology, including the homeostasis of mucobiome and the defence against infections.
Matrix (‘extracellullar matrix’) is essential for multicellular life. Matrix stress shields cells from environmental forces and provides a dynamic scaffold for cell attachment, migration, differentiation and fate specification. Thus, mechanisms that maintain healthy matrix structure and organisation are essential to ensure the appropriate size, shape, and mechanical properties of tissues needed to support their specialized functions. However, the accumulation of excess, or inappropriate matrix, as occurs in fibrosis, can cause the loss of tissue/organ function and lead to death. Our vision is that understanding the physical, chemical, and temporal crosstalk between cells and matrix will generate profound insights into the mechanisms that underpin tissue assembly and function, and enable us to identify why the dysregulation of matrix causes fibrosis, which is a major factor in many chronic diseases. Our strategy is aimed at the fundamental biology driving the development of fibrosis as we feel this will identify novel routes for disease intervention.
Successful candidates will be subject to pre-employment screening carried out on our behalf by a third party. The offer of employment will be dependent on the successful candidate passing that screening. Whilst you will be required to provide express consent at a later stage, by continuing with your application now you acknowledge that you are aware that such screening will take place, and agree to take part in the process.
Previous candidates need not apply.
The School is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The School holds a Silver Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff achieve a good work-life balance. We particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:
Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.
Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
Name: Qing-Jun Meng
Tel: 0161 275 4499
Tel: 01565 818 234
This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.