Research Assistant in Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Cambridge Department of Clinical Biochemistry
United Kingdom

A Research Assistant position is available within Dr Daniel Fazakerley's group at the Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS). The Fazakerley group are interested understanding how insulin stimulates glucose transport into fat and muscle cells, and how this process breaks down in disease.

One of the ways in which insulin lowers blood glucose is through stimulating glucose transport into adipose and muscle tissue. Insulin activates a signal transduction cascade in these tissues to promote the translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT4 from specialised intracellular storage vesicles to the plasma membrane, facilitating glucose uptake. We currently have an incomplete understanding of the signalling events and trafficking processes that control the redistribution of GLUT4. We aim to fill in these knowledge gaps.

The reason we want to increase our understanding in this area is that impaired insulin-stimulated glucose transport in muscle and fat is a major contributor to whole body insulin resistance - a state where insulin no longer efficiently lowers blood glucose and a risk factor for type II diabetes. There is currently no consensus on the molecular basis for impaired insulin responses in these tissues. We aim to shed light on how insulin signalling to GLUT4 is altered in insulin resistance.

Our lab utilises an interdisciplinary approach comprising cell culture and in vivo models to study insulin action, GLUT4 trafficking and glucose metabolism. We design and perform unbiased mass spectrometry-based proteomics studies to uncover proteins or protein post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation) that may play a role in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 trafficking and/or insulin resistance. We use our expertise in cell biology (e.g. microscopy) and biochemistry (e.g. subcellular fractionation, immunoprecipitation) techniques to study the role that proteins-of-interest play in the insulin signalling-GLUT4 pathway in health and disease.

The successful candidate will play a key role in two of our current endeavours. Firstly, establishing new cell models to assess different aspects of GLUT4 trafficking in cells, and to setting up molecular biology techniques to allow us to assess the role of specific protein post-translational modifications. Secondly, to aid in developing techniques that allow us to screen many genes-of-interest for a role in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 trafficking.

This position offers an ideal opportunity for a highly motivated scientist to work in a world-class research environment and to develop their skills in cell biology, signalling and intra-cellular trafficking in the context of metabolic disease.

To be considered for this position, you must possess a University degree or MSc in a relevant field and have excellent record-keeping, organisational (including being able to appropriately prioritise work), communication, and interpersonal skills.

You should have a solid understanding (and preferably some experience) of a broad range of molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, including recombinant DNA techniques and Western blotting coupled with cell culture, including techniques for genome editing and/or siRNA and plasmid DNA delivery.

Applicants should also be eligible for a Home Office Personal License.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Daniel Fazakerley, email: djf72@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

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

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. 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.

Closing Date: 15th March 2021

Please quote reference RG25718 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

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