University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (mRNA cap regulation in T cells)

Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to join us at the Victoria Cowling lab, Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, University of Dundee. The postdoc will be part of the team investigating the impact of mRNA cap regulation on T cell gene expression and cell fate decisions.

We are funded by an ERC (European Research Council) award to study the function of the mRNA cap in T cells. We find that the mRNA capping enzymes are regulated following T cell activation and during differentiation. This mRNA cap regulation has gene-specific impacts, which influence a range of processes, from basic cellular processes to differentiation programmes. The successful applicant will work with the team investigating the mechanisms by which the capping enzymes are regulated in T cells and the impact of the different capping enzymes on gene expression and T function. The postdoc will disect gene regulation and immune cell function using the latest transcriptomic, proteomic and cell analysis technologies, supported by postdocs and technologists.

Within the Cowling lab, we strive to understand the function of mRNA cap regulation in mammals, in health and disease, working in T cells, embryonic stem cells and cancer cell systems. The mRNA cap is an important but poorly understood structure which recruits the enzymes and co-factors involved in transcription, RNA processing and translation initiation. In the Cowling lab, we have discovered mechanisms by which mRNA cap formation is regulated by oncogenes, signalling pathways and developmental pathways, resulting in changes in transcription and translation which impact on cell function and fate. The enzymes which catalyse mRNA cap synthesis are emerging as integrators of cellular signals which govern cell physiology and fate. We are funded by MRC and ERC fellowships and our lab includes postdocs and students who study mRNA cap regulation using a spectrum of techniques, from biochemistry and computational biology to cell biology and organ physiology. Our ultimate aim is to understand the therapeutic value of targeting the capping enzymes.

Our lab:

For further information on the previous research performed in the Cowling lab:

This position would suit a researcher with experience in gene expression research including transcriptomic analyses and proteomic analyses and/or experience with immune cell biology.

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. In this case the initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 28, £31,866).

The position is fixed-term, for 24 months in the first instance.

Apply Here

For further information about the position please contact Vicky Cowling at

The Cowling lab is situated in the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, a centre of scientific excellence with world-leading resources and state-of-the art technologies.

The University of Dundee is one of the leading universities in Europe for research in Life Sciences, internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.