Research Associate (Fixed Term) in Department of Physics University of Cambridge, Department of Physics United Kingdom

Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position investigating blood stage malaria parasites at the Cavendish Laboratory (Department of Physics, University of Cambridge).


The group of Prof. Pietro Cicuta seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on quantitative phenotyping of blood stage malaria, focusing on imaging at single cell both intracellular growth and invasion events. The role is funded by the EPSRC grant "Parallelised live microscopy for high-throughput behavioural phenotyping in malaria". It involves a tight collaboration locally with the Cambridge team developing a new hardware imaging platform, Drs Richard Bowman and Neill Campbell in Bath developing computer vision and Dr Julian Rayner at the Wellcome Sanger Institute on the malaria parasite biology.


The project is interdisciplinary, spanning microscopy hardware and software development, and the application of this new hardware to imaging of malaria parasites. This advert seeks a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to carry out the application of the new technologies to live imaging of blood stage malaria parasites. The project builds on recent work by our group that had focused on characterising quantitatively the sequence of events from egress of parasites from one erythrocyte, through their to binding to and invasion of new host erythrocytes. The new line of work will involve imaging at much higher throughput, exploiting and demonstrating the power of a battery of parallel and automated microscopes/incubators. Through this advanced and high throughput optical imaging, the growth phases of intracellular parasites will be monitored automatically, enabling us to tackle variation in growth and invasion at unprecedented quantification across a variety of wild-type and mutant strains of Plasmodium falciparum from the Rayner lab.


The successful candidate could come from a wide range of different disciplinary backgrounds, but needs to be confident in techniques including cell culture and optical imaging, and be prepared (if not already expert) to pick up on a variety of "quantitative" aspects that are relevant in this research, including coding for scripting the automated working of the instruments, elements of soft matter physics and cell biology. We imagine that the applicants will either be biologists with a strength in imaging and image analysis, or physical scientists with proven experience in cell culture and imaging.


Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years.


The closing date for applications is 15th June 2018. Applications will be reviewed after the closing date and interviews conducted between June and July 2018. The candidate would ideally start as soon as possible.


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.


Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) including a list of publications and the contact details of at least two referees and a covering letter 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.


Informal enquiries can be addressed via email to Ms Vivian Chou at Please quote reference KA15437 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.


The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.


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


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