This is a unique opportunity for PhD study in the world-leading Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI), to start a research career in an environment committed to training outstanding cancer research scientists of the future. The Institute has excellent state-of-the-art facilities and research ranges from basic biology and computational biology through to translational cancer research and clinical application. Graduate students play a pivotal role in the continuing success of our research programmes. If you are interested in contributing to our success, please find further information at:

Professor Greg Hannon and Dr Benjamin Czech wish to recruit a student to work on the project entitled: Chromatin dynamics in development and disease

For further information about the research group, including their most recent publications, please visit their website:

Project details
The genetic information of eukaryotic cells is packaged into chromatin. Key to this process are histone proteins that are subject to various post-translational modifications. Chromatin modifications are essential for genome organisation and are dynamically regulated during development and disease. Understanding the highly dynamic interplay between multiple chromatin marks, transcriptional output and cell fate has been challenging in part due to the lack of high-throughput methods to profile these features simultaneously.

Research in our laboratory aims to address these questions using advanced chromatin profiling methods (scCUT&Tag) and single-cell genomics approaches (scRNA-seq). In this project, you will use CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer cell lines and animal models that allow the modulation of protein activity with high spatio-temporal precision. You will study the effects of the activation or depletion of chromatin-modifying enzymes using combined transcriptomics and histone mark profiling from single cells as well as by live imaging approaches. As part of this exciting project, you will have the opportunity to gain computational data analysis skills. Our laboratory has a proven track record of developing and improving tools to address cutting-edge questions and this studentship comes with the opportunity to explore novel techniques that allow spatial in situ profiling of chromatin marks and applying these methods to questions with biological relevance in chromatin silencing and cancer.

Preferred skills/knowledge
The ideal candidate would have a strong background in molecular biology and/or biochemistry, a keen interest in chromatin research, and would be highly motivated to drive an independent research project. Practical research experience, as well as good familiarity with genomics approaches would be desirable. The successful candidate is expected to work closely with other team members, have excellent communication skills and record keeping habits, organisational and time-management skills, and an inquisitive mind.

This studentship is funded by Cancer Research UK and includes full funding for University and College fees and in addition, a stipend of £19,000 per annum, initially for 3 years, with funding for a further year possible as required.

No nationality restrictions apply to Cancer Research UK funded studentships. Applications are invited from recent graduates or final year undergraduates who hold or expect to gain a first/upper second-class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject from any recognised university worldwide. Applicants with relevant research experience, gained through Master’s study or while working in a laboratory, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please apply using the University Applicant Portal. For further information about the course and to access the applicant portal, go to:

Please select to commence study in Michaelmas term 2022 (October 2022).

To complete your on-line application, you need to provide the following:

Reference Request: The names and contact details of two academic referees who have agreed to act on your behalf.

Course Specific Question: Your statement of interest (limit of 2,500 characters) should explain why you wish to be considered for the studentship and which qualities and experience you will bring to the role. Please also state how you learned of the studentship.

Supporting Document: Please upload your CV (PDF file), which should include a list of the examinations taken at undergraduate level and if possible, your examination results

The closing date for applications is 30 November 2021 with interviews expected to take place in the week beginning 17 January 2022.

Please quote reference SW28413 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.

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