University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, June 16, 2022
£33,309 - £40,927
Summary of Job Purpose and Principal Duties
We are inviting applications for a postdoctoral fellow to work in the lab of Jin Rui Liang at the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU).

The Liang lab is interested in understanding the fundamental pathways and mechanisms that regulate endoplasmic reticulum-specific autophagy, or ER-phagy. The ER is tightly controlled by many sophisticated quality control pathways, including the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) and unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways. In recent years, it has been shown that damaged or superfluous ER can also be specifically degraded via ER-phagy. Clinical mutations of ER-phagy regulators are associated with pathologies such as neurodevelopmental defects, pancreatic stress, and cancer. Our recent genome-wide CRISPR screening data suggest that several oncogenes could also drive ER-phagy, suggesting that ER-phagy might mediate cancer progression.

The successful applicant will be working on characterising the signalling pathway and mechanistic contribution of ER-phagy toward cancer progression. This project is funded by a Cancer Research UK grant awarded recently to the lab and the position will be funded for 5 years.

Summary of Skills, Experience and Qualifications

Candidates will be expected to have a strong knowledge of fundamental cell biology and cancer biology. In particular, a background in;

  • protein and organelle quality control
  • autophagy, and
  • transcriptional regulations are desirable.

Candidates will also need to demonstrate a track record of research productivity and have demonstrated an ability to work independently, enthusiasm for research, and excellent verbal and written communication skills. The successful candidate will employ a highly multidisciplinary approach, with techniques including:

  • quantitative proteomics,
  • transcriptomics,
  • high-resolution and live-cell imaging,
  • mass spectrometry, and
  • CRISPR-based genetic manipulations,
to address exciting questions about the mechanisms and function of ER-phagy during cancer progression. Therefore, expertise in one or more of these areas will be highly desirable.
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 would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 – 28). 
Additional Information:
For further information about this position please contact Dr. Jin Rui Liang at To find out more about the Unit, please visit
To apply, please submit a single PDF file that contains:
  • A curriculum vitae. Please include a list of publications (including submissions to Biorxiv) with a brief description of your contribution to the work.
  • A cover letter that outlines your research interests and career goals, and a brief summary demonstrating your suitability for this position.

As part of the MRC PPU, the Liang lab is committed to supporting LGBTQIA+, BAME, and other under-represented communities.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – 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. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

The University of Dundee is a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat and is committed to enhancing the research environment and culture. Engagement and support of activities which assist the researcher development agenda at the University is therefore essential.

Commitment to DORA

The School of Life Sciences has been fully committed to the principals of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) since 2013. In assessing applicants, we consider the scientific quality of their published research papers, but do not take into account where the papers were published and do not consider journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors.
As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations.

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.