Postdoc position in proteomics, immunology or molecular biology, UK

We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to join the laboratory of Dr Hannah Siddle in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. This is a three year position funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant to develop a peptide vaccine against Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), an infectious cancer that is driving the Tasmanian devil to extinction. The successful applicant will join a research team studying immune evasion by contagious cancers and will collaborate with Professor Tim Elliott’s lab in the Faculty of Medicine investigating antigen presentation and processing.

Biological Sciences Research

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,434 to £34,233
Full Time Fixed Term
Closing Date:   Sunday 21 June 2015
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  565415BJ

The research question:

Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a highly unusual infectious cancer that has spread through the Tasmanian devil population, causing close to 100% mortality. We have recently demonstrated that although DFTD cells down-regulate Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules from their cell surface, expression can be restored by treatment with inflammatory cytokines (Siddle et al, PNAS, 2013).

The successful applicant will use transcriptomics, mass spectrometry and cell biology to investigate peptide/MHC complexes on DFTD tumour cells and host devil cells to (a) develop a peptide vaccination strategy against DFTD and (b) gain a better understanding of why this cancer is naturally transmissible.

Training and resources:

The successful applicant will receive training in isolation of MHC derived peptides and their analysis via mass spectrometry in the laboratory of Professor Anthony Purcell at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), a world leader in immunoproteomics. You will also have access to cutting edge instrumentation through the Centre for Proteomic Research ( at the University of Southampton. In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop data analysis skills and to test candidate peptides for immunogenicity in vitro and in vivo.

Essential skills:

A PhD or equivalent in a relevant field, including but not exclusive to, proteomics, immunology or molecular biology, excellent written and oral communication skills, organisational skills and a publication record commensurate with experience are required.

Desirable skills:

Experience in mass spectrometry and/or analysis of mass spectrometry data, cell culture and molecular biology techniques. Good computational literacy and willingness to learn and develop data analysis skills.

The post is available from 1st August 2015. Interviews are likely to be held in June/July. Informal inquires can be made to Dr Hannah Siddle:

Application Procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The vacancy will close at midnight on the closing date as shown above. If you need any assistance, please contact Carol Read on +44 (0) 23 8059 3649. Please quote vacancy reference number 565415BJ on all correspondence.

 The University of Southampton and the Centre for Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.  Biological Sciences is able to provide flexible working opportunities and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break.

The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities and employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme. Other benefits include state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

Apply Online

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.