Postdoctoral Training Fellow - High Throughput Screening Facility and Hill Lab

Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to lead their own projects and collaborate within the lab and externally. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Key information

Job reference
Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
03 July 2021, 00:00 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 04 June 2021

Postdoctoral Training Fellow - High Throughput Screening Facility and Hill Lab

Reporting to: Caroline Hill and Mike Howell

Contact term: This is a full-time, fixed term (4 year) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.

Closing date: 02 July 2021 at 23:59

Project summary

We seek a highly motivated ambitious postdoc to develop novel technologies capable of shedding light on new biologies and shaping drug development for the future.

The post is part of a project funded by an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership award that brings together multiple research groups at the Crick and GSK to pioneer use of reactive fragments and high-content screening technologies in cellular disease model systems ( The postdoc will thus be part of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team working in an integrated academia–industry setting.

The reactive fragment libraries consist of low molecular weight fragments with reactive functional war heads that allow irreversible capture of target proteins. The role of this postdoctoral training fellow will be to first develop novel high content imaging and morphological profiling methodologies to phenotypically characterise the effects of the reactive fragment libraries in different cell types. The postdoc will then use the libraries in cellular signalling screens, focusing on the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-b) family of signalling pathways that are well known for their essential roles in early embryonic development and in adult tissue homeostasis. We will use the screens to identify new regulators of TGF-b family signalling pathways and also those that act downstream to inhibit physiological responses to these ligands. There will also be opportunities to use the libraries to interrogate other biologies, in particular the mToR signalling and metabolic pathways.

The Research Group

The role will initially be based in the High Throughput Screening Facility, led by Dr Michael Howell at the Francis Crick Institute to develop the high content imaging and morphological profiling methodologies and perform the screens. There will be close interactions with the group of Dr Caroline Hill whose lab focuses on understanding how TGF-b family signalling pathways function normally in early vertebrate development and in adult untransformed tissue culture cells, and how these signalling pathways are perturbed in human diseases, in particular cancer. The postdoc will also have the opportunity to work with the lab of Dr Dimitrios Anastasiou, whose lab focuses on how cancer cells generate energy and use nutrients, with a view to understanding general metabolic regulation principles and identify therapeutic opportunities against cancer.

Postdocs are expected to lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


  • PhD in Cell and Molecular biology or in the final stages of PhD submission
  • Technical expertise in tissue culture, imaging, molecular biology, and gene perturbation
  • Excellent knowledge and experience in cell signalling
  • A track record of high productivity in the laboratory, supported by publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings
  • Experience of excellent experimental design
  • Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group, with good communication skills
  • Eagerness to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the interface between academia and industry and to embrace the highly collaborative culture between GSK and the Crick which may include frequent travel between Stevenage and London


  • Technical expertise in performing high content screens
  • Experience in integrating large amounts of data from multiple platforms
  • Experience in high content imaging
  • Knowledge of chemical biology and the use of small molecule tools to probe biological pathways