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Research Associate (Targeting Circadian Rhythms in Articular Cartilage to Promote Tissue Repair in Osteoarthritis)
Oxford Road, Manchester

Job reference: BMH-017296

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 30/08/2021

Salary: £33,309 per annum

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Biology, Medicine & Health

Division: Cell Matrix Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Hours per week: Full Time

Contract Duration: From 1 October 2021 until 30 September 2022

School / Directorate: School of Biological Sciences

Circadian clocks govern nearly all aspects of mammalian physiology and behaviour. We have discovered cell autonomous circadian clocks in articular cartilage of joints, which temporally regulate rhythmic expression patterns of key pathways implicated in cartilage tissue homeostasis (Gossan et al 2013 Arthritis and Rheumatology; Dudek et al 2016 J Clinical Invest cover story; Berenbaum and Meng 2016 Nat Rev Rheumatology; Dudek et al 2021 Osteoarthritis and Cartilage). Importantly, we have shown that the cartilage circadian rhythm and expression of chondrocyte genes change profoundly with ageing and during early stages of osteoarthritis initiation.  This project aims to address how individual circadian clock genes regulate cartilage physiology and chondrocyte biology, with a particular focus on the homeostasis of the extracellular matrix. We will also test the hypothesis that targeting clock genes may slow down disease progression and promote tissue repair.  This project will take advantage of the new mouse models with cartilage-specific clock disruptions (Col2a1-cre/Bmal1 KO mouse, Dudek et al JCI 2016), as well as the fluorescently tagged VENUS::BMAL1 mouse (Yang et al PLoS Genetics 2020) and PER2::VENUS mouse (Smyllie et al 2016 Current Biology) to track clock protein dynamics in live cells and cartilage tissue explants.  This full time PDRA post, funded by the Versus Arthritis, will build on earlier findings and test a well-defined hypothesis in mouse models and in clinical osteoarthritic cartilage tissues and cells.  

You are expected to be a highly motivated researcher who can conduct research to a high standard and publish results in leading peer-reviewed journals. You are expected to interact with other team members from the FBMH, the Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, the Centre for Biological Timing, industrial collaborators and clinicians to drive the project forward in a timely fashion.

The post is available from 1 October 2021 and full time for up to 12 months (with a 9 month probation).

The School/Department is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The School/Department 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. All appointment will be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Blended working arrangements may be considered.

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: Professor Qing-Jun Meng

General enquiries:

Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.


The closing date for this job has now passed.