Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Edinburgh, UK
Jun 30, 2020
Jul 30, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Bain lab within the Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh to study the transcriptional control of pulmonary macrophages. Macrophages are vital for maintaining tissue homeostasis and providing protective immunity, yet they are also implicated in almost every chronic inflammatory pathology. This undoubtedly reflects the incredible plasticity of tissue macrophages to respond to local environmental signals. Indeed, it is because of their plasticity that macrophages are increasingly seen as attractive therapeutic targets in chronic inflammation. However, while huge advances have been made in our understanding of macrophage diversity and ontogeny, the nature of the signals that drive tissue-specific imprinting of tissue macrophages and how these may change in the setting of inflammation and tissue repair are poorly understood. We are seeking an ambitious and motivated Research Fellow to use a variety of transgenic mouse models combined with state-of-the-art technologies to unravel the molecular pathways that control macrophage differentiation in the lung. The University of Edinburgh is considered one of the world-leading centres for macrophage biology research and you will be joining a growing, dynamic and supportive group embedded within the Centre for Inflammation Research.

Calum Bain CIR profile

Informal enquiries to: Calum Bain (

1. Job Details

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School/Support Department: Medical School / Deanery of Clinical Sciences

Unit (if applicable): Centre for Inflammation Research

Line Manager: Calum Bain

2. Job Purpose

This postdoctoral position will focus on determining the signals and transcription factors that control the differentiation of distinct pulmonary macrophage subpopulations. The post-holder will use mouse models of pulmonary inflammation, infection and fibrosis, together with a range of immunological techniques, including multiple novel transgenic reporter animals, bone chimeric mice, cell purification and adoptive transfer, advanced flow cytometry (>18 parameters) and high resolution imaging, qPCR and transcriptional/epigenetic profiling, to determine if and how the cellular and molecular crosstalk between macrophages and their stromal neighbours changes in inflammation and tissue repair. Analysis of human samples will be used to confirm the relevance of murine studies. The successful applicant will be expected to produce high quality original research and use effective communication skills to disseminate data in written and oral form.

3. Main Responsibilities
  • Conduct and facilitate a programme of research investigating the tissue specific imprinting of macrophages in murine models of pulmonary inflammation, infection and fibrosis over different campuses at UoE. The post-holder will design, plan and carry-out in vivo experiments using complex flow-cytometry, confocal/multi-photon microscopy, isolation of immune cell populations from lung (and multiple other tissues) for use in in vitro assays, adoptive transfer, qPCR or transcriptional/epigenetic profiling. The post-holder will analyse and critically evaluate data to guide subsequent experiments and contribute to the development of new methods and techniques appropriate to the type and level of research being pursued. (Approx 65% of time).
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date digital records to document the research progress. Carefully document, store and digitally inventorize tissue/cell samples. Take a lead role in writing up data for publication. Presentation of data at group meetings, Centre meetings and at national and international conferences. Regular reporting of progress to the PI/other members of the research team is expected. Presentation of research findings at national and international level. (Approx 15% of time).
  • Manage transgenic mouse colonies, including screening of lines, to ensure sufficient animals are available for experimental work and to minimise animal usage wherever possible. (Approx 8% of time).
  • The post-holder will be expected to continually update their knowledge and understanding in the field of immunology/inflammation biology, and update their skill base within the defined research area through internal and/or external technical courses and reading of relevant scientific literature. (Approx 5% of time).
  • Provide guidance and supervision for student projects and/or instruction of students (mostly MSc or PhD) in the use of equipment/demonstration of techniques. (Approx 5% of time).
  • Maintenance of laboratory procedures and safety aspects through contribution to the development of Standard Operating Procedure documents. (Approx 2% of time).

  • 4. Planning and Organising

    The post-holder will plan and manage their own programme of research activity on an ongoing basis with guidance and input from the PI, to ensure that the research is conducted in accordance with the research timetable (planning will be typically up to 3 months in advance). The post-holder will coordinate all in vivo and in vitro aspects of the post to ensure materials are available in a timely fashion and that all analyses are accurately performed. Short-term experimental work will be planned individually. The overall research programme, papers and presentations will be planned in conjunction with the PI. The post-holder will assist more junior members of the research team in planning and scheduling of their workload, in accordance with the demands of the overall project.

    5. Problem Solving

    The post-holder is expected to resolve most problems using accumulated experience, with only the most serious non-standard issues reported to the line manager for assistance. To use creativity and initiative to identify areas for research, develop new research methods, and diversify the research parameters. Use initiative to analyse and interpret research data, and draw conclusions from it. Use initiative to help other researchers in the team to resolve project problems and develop new techniques and methods, as appropriate.

    6. Decision Making

    Taken independently : Organise own workload according to priority and adapt as necessary, setting of short-term time-lines, design experimental set-up to address specific research aims.

    In collaboration with others : Problem solving and data interpretation, experimental design and discussion of short-term research aims and potential new research strategies.

    Referred to manager : Overall timelines, changes of direction, response to serious and unexpected events, identification of the best way forward and interpretation of complex data (although input to these areas is expected).

    Level of Direction Given : Line manager will offer general orientation and advice, in addition to support in developing and implementation of research strategy, there will be an appropriate degree of independence, in line with level of experience. The overall development and implementation of the research strategy will be executed in consultation with the line manager.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships

    Internal : PI and future members of the immediate research team, members of the CIR and additional research teams at the University of Edinburgh working on macrophages, lung biology and wound repair. Build internal contacts, eg within the animal facility, flow cytometry and imaging suites across the University and links to share information.

    External : Collaborating researchers worldwide, external networks to share information and develop links as appropriate.

    8. Required Knowledge, Skills and Experience

    • A 1st class or 2:1 degree in Immunology or related subject
    • A PhD in Immunology or related area either completed or awaiting examination

    Experience (knowledge, skills and competencies)
    • Proficient in tissue harvesting, digestion and advanced (>14 parameter) flow cytometric analysis and FACS-purification of immune cells from multiple tissues in models of inflammatory disease.
    • Generation of bone marrow chimeric mice and adoptive transfer of immune cells.
    • Proficient in molecular biology techniques such as preparation of material for transcriptional profiling.
    • Experience maintaining and using transgenic mouse colonies.
    • Experience of in vitro culture of myeloid cells
    • Hold or be willing to apply for a Home Office Animal Licence and have a sound understanding of the NC3Rs and ASPeL (or non-UK equivalent).
    • First author publication(s) in good international journals
    • Track record appropriate to level of experience.

    • Experience of bioinformatic analysis or single cell technologies.
    • Expertise in histology and confocal/multi-photon microscopy related to inflammatory tissues or cells.
    • Expertise in image acquisition and analysis and measurement of immune cell behaviours.
    • Isolation of primary cells.

    9. Dimensions

    The post-holder will join the Bain lab based within the Centre for Inflammation Research (160 members of staff including 54 principal investigators in addition to postgraduate students and visiting academics) which is based in the Queen's Medical Research Institute. This job has no formal responsibility to supervise, although it will involve the informal co-supervision of PhD and other students who are formally the responsibility of the PI.

    The School is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The School holds a Silver Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender. We particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit.

    The role is grade Ue07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,797 to £40,322 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    This post is available on a fixed term basis for 36 months.

    Pension Scheme
    This role is grade Ue07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our pension's website:

    Right to Work
    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on right to work please visit our right to work webpage

    If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

  • Please note if you were last granted leave to stay in the UK in any Tier 2 category in the 12 months immediately preceding an application and the leave has
    • ended or expired.
    • the CoS which led to that grant of leave was issued for more than 3 months, and
    • you are either:
    o applying for entry clearance from outside the UK, or
    o you are in the UK and had a previous period of Tier 2 leave, but then changed ('switched') into a different immigration category and now wishes to apply again under Tier 2.
    You must wait 12 months before applying again.

    Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:

    Application Procedure
    All applicants should apply online by clicking the "apply" button at the foot of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

    Closing date: 02 July 2020 at 5pm.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
    var links = document.querySelectorAll(".targetLink"), i, j, aTags, string; for(i=0; i Centre for Inflammation Research ( ) (Director, Professor Chris Gregory) aims, by pursuit of current peer-reviewed research programmes enhanced by judicious and focussed collaboration, to characterise and manipulate key control points in inflammation. Effort is targeted at: Inhibiting the initiation of inflammation by blocking immunologically-specific triggers and by modulating cellular and tissue responses in injurious stimuli; finding new approaches to promote beneficial regulation of established inflammatory responses so as to limit tissue injury; and promoting safe resolution of inflammation and restoration of the structure and function of the perturbed tissue. A particular current focus is on tissue fibrosis-the result of longstanding inflammation, with programmes looking at the mechanisms underpinning resolution of fibrosis and its non-invasive monitoring and imaging. The CIR has a particular interest in inflammatory disease of the lungs, kidney, liver and pancreas but the principles derived will have ready application to inflammatory responses in the bowel, bone/joint and skin. The CIR is located in state of the art facilities at the Queen's Medical Research Institute adjacent to the clinical facilities on the Bioquarter Campus, Edinburgh.   Deanery of Clinical Sciences ( ) The Deanery of Clinical Sciences (Head, Professor Hilary Critchley) has an international reputation in clinical based research through the combination of basic, clinical and translational science and epidemiological studies, and as a part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, offers unparalleled opportunities for ground-breaking interdisciplinary research in the bio-medical sciences.

    The Deanery comprises 5 interdisciplinary Research Centres: the University of Edinburgh/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences (Director, Professor Andy Baker), the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research (Director, Professor Chris Gregory), the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (Director, Professor Stuart Forbes), the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (Director, Professor Siddharthan Chandran), the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (Director, Professor Jeff Pollard); plus a Division of Health Sciences (Head, Professor Peter Hayes) incorporating 7 clinical specialties, the Edinburgh Imaging Facility (Director, Professor Dave Newby), the Clinical Research Facility (Director, Professor Dave Newby) and the Edinburgh Dental Institute (Director, Professor Angus Walls).

    Clinical Sciences employs around 1000 members of academic and support staff and has over 550 Honorary members who contribute significantly to teaching and research. The Deanery is a major contributor to the undergraduate MBChB curriculum and has approximately 1000 registered post graduate students studying a range of PhD, MD, taught and research MSc and on-line distance learning programmes. The Deanery can be found at the Bioquarter Campus (Queen's Medical Research Institute, Chancellor's Building, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People), the Lauriston Building, Lauriston Place, the Western General Hospital and the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

    In the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise, Medicine was ranked in the top 5 for the whole of the UK.
      The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine traces its origins back nearly 500 years (Darwin, Simpson and Conan-Doyle were students here) and is internationally renowned for its research and teaching. Professor Moira Whyte is the Head of College, the only conjoint Medical and Veterinary Medical School in the UK. The College employs over 3000 academic and support staff. The College has two Schools, the Edinburgh Medical School comprising 3 Deaneries; Biomedical Sciences; Molecular Genetic and Population Health Sciences and Clinical Sciences and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

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    The College's reputation as one of the world's leading centres of medical and veterinary medical research has been reaffirmed by its UK REF2014 results. Medicine, the University's largest submission, was ranked in the top 5 in the UK. Veterinary Medicine came 1st in the UK, and retained its position as the UK's top Vet School. It made a joint submission with Scotland's Rural College (SRUC). Neuroscience was ranked 3rd in the UK out of 82 submissions, representing a major advance. Overall, 84% of the College's research activity was rated world leading or internationally excellent (3* and 4*). In terms of 'one medicine' research (human and animal medicine), the University of Edinburgh's research power (quality x volume) is the strongest in the UK.   The University of Edinburgh For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They've explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.
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