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Research Associate

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,604-38,832 a year
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Role Description

We are seeking to appoint a highly-motivated postdoctoral researcher to join the newly established team working in the molecular chaperone and neurodegeneration lab headed by Dr Han-Jou Chen, who joins us as a Lecturer in Neuroscience from 1st August 2018. The research scope of the team is to investigate the molecular mechanism of protein chaperone regulation in the context of aging and disease, aiming to develop new therapeutic strategy for neurodegeneration.


You will join a vibrant Department and complement our current research strengths. The University of York has a strong track record in neuroscience research and is committed to further strengthening this key strategic area. In the 2014 REF exercise, the University of York was ranked 4th in the UK for the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Unite of Assessment and ranked joint 1st with Oxford for Research Output. The position will be based in the Department of Biology with access to a world-class Bioscience Technology Facility containing state-of-the-art imaging, proteomics and genetics core facilities, and small animal unit. The Department of Biology is ranked among the top ten UK departments for research excellence and 1st for impact outside of academia (


Neurodegenerative diseases are commonly featured by the presence of aberrant protein aggregates in affected tissues, such as TDP-43 in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and tau and plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), highlighting the importance of protein homeostasis in maintaining neuronal health. Our previous work showed that the chaperon response pathway, heat shock response (HSR), is significantly compromised in animal model and ALS patients. Combined with studies in cellular model, our result suggest that the early loss of HSR might contribute to the aberrant protein build up which eventually lead to disease development, and enforced activation of HSR can effectively rescue TDP-43 aggregation and cytotoxicity. To carry this forward, the successful candidate will continue investigating the molecular mechanism underlying HSR down-regulation and explore the therapeutic potential of HSR activating in ALS.  You will conduct individual and collaborative research projects, duties to include: analysis and interpretation of research data; use of appropriate research techniques and methods; writing up of research results and dissemination through publications,  seminar and conference presentations and public engagement and outreach activities; contributing to the identification of possible new areas of research.

You will be an experienced researcher with a PhD or equivalent research experience in relevant area of Neuroscience, Molecular Biology or Biochemistry. You also need to be able to:

  • Have experience of designing, running and analysing molecular and cell biology experiments
  • Carry out independent and collaborative research.
  • Present findings in academic paper and international conferences

You shall have a strong commitment to the work and be comfortable in teamwork and be supportive and work proactively with colleagues and students.

This post is full-time, fixed term for 32 months, funded by the Motor Neurone Disease Association.  Please note, as Dr Chen commences in post from 1st August, and interviews will take place on 3rd August 2018.

For further information about this post, please contact Dr Han-Jou Chen via email or for an alternative contact please email our administration team the DMT Hub

Closing date: 13 July 2018

Vacancy reference: 6716

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