Research Assistant in Toxicology

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

The MRC Toxicology Unit is an internationally renowned institution focused on the delivery of field-changing mechanistic insights into toxicology and disease. It is in the newly refurbished Gleeson building, central Cambridge and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including super resolution microscopy, mass spectrometry, Cryo-EM, advanced flow-cytometry and offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral development.

We are looking to appoint a Research Assistant to join the group, led by Dr. Martins, to work on a project investigating the molecular mechanisms through which candidate gene mutations affect alcohol consumption and liver toxicity in Drosophila melanogaster.

Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the principal causes of death and disability worldwide. Alcohol consumption is a heritable and complex trait. Using a meta-analysis approach, we have identified several new genetic pathways associated with alcohol consumption, with links to neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. The project is funded by the Medical Research Council for 12 months and involves a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Brunel University London. It will be ideal for a candidate with experience in Drosophila behaviour and neurosciences. The candidate with have regular meetings with other members of the team both at the University of Cambridge and Brunel University.

Applicants must have a BSc in Biochemistry, Genetics or Cell Biology. Experience in Drosophila neuroscience and behavioural assays in flies is required. The successful candidate needs to be capable of working independently and as well as part of a team. Excellent communication and critical thinking skills are also essential.

Relevant publications: Evangelou, E., Gao, H., Chu, C., Ntritsos, G., Blakeley, P., Butts, A. R., et al. (2019). New alcohol-related genes suggest shared genetic mechanisms with neuropsychiatric disorders. Nature Human Behaviour, 3(9), 950¿961.

Fochler, S., Morozova, T. V., Davis, M. R., Gearhart, A. W., Huang, W., Mackay, T. F. C., & Anholt, R. R. H. (2017). Genetics of alcohol consumption in Drosophila melanogaster. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 16(7), 675¿685.

Corl, A. B., Berger, K. H., Ophir-Shohat, G., Gesch, J., Simms, J. A., Bartlett, S. E., & Heberlein, U. (2009). Happyhour, a Ste20 Family Kinase, Implicates EGFR Signalling in Ethanol-Induced Behaviors. Cell, 137(5), 949¿960.

Further information regarding the MRC Toxicology Unit and specific research groups can be found at (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 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.

Informal enquiries are invited and can be directed to L. Miguel Martins,

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Bronwen Chamberlain at

Please quote reference PU26042 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.

In your application, please refer to


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