Postdoctoral Researcher, Translational Medicine, DNA damage response, Oncology R&D

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Do you feel passionate about scientific research driving development of new targeted treatments for cancer patients?.

Do you have a background within DNA damage response and/or oncology and/or experience in translational research?.

If so, this may be the role for you.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to join our Translational Medicine team to lead a research project understanding mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to inhibitors of DNA damage response in clinical samples.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Within AstraZeneca Oncology R&D, we are committed to advancing the science to deliver life-changing medicines to patients most in need. With a combination-focused pipeline that exploits the power of six scientific platforms (Immuno-Oncology, Tumor Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response, Antibody-drug Conjugates, Cell Therapy and Epigenetics) to help address unmet clinical needs in a host of cancers, we are motivated by a dedication to the scientific discovery and collaboration that will one day help eliminate cancer as a cause of death.

The Translational Medicine function exists within AstraZeneca R&D to ensure effective and strategic biomarker studies for Oncology project teams. Closely interacting with the pre-clinical Discovery, Early Clinical Development, and Precision Medicine & Biosamples diagnostics functions, the Translational Medicine team is the single point of accountability for delivery of robust, scientifically-driven biomarkers to all project teams, providing feasibility assessments, technical validation, centralized biomarker analysis capability for clinical samples, delivery of translational science research and early clinical phase engagement.

What you’ll do

This Postdoctoral position offers a unique opportunity of being part of the Oncology function of AZ, the world leader company in DNA-damage response (DDR) inhibitors. Through identifying mechanisms of sensitivity/resistance to our current DDR inhibitors, the project has the potential to identify new targets for drug intervention or new treatment combinations for patients to overcome drug resistance.

We are looking for Postdoctoral Researcher who is highly motivated and will be leading the research project, developing into independent researcher, under supervision of Translational Medicine lead. The project will include analysis of clinical samples for mechanisms of resistance to DDR inhibitors using multiple approaches, such as NGS, proteomics, functional assays etc. You will be working within a highly collaborative Translational Medicine team, and collaborating with preclinical Biosciences team. You will have the opportunity to expand your skillset using various cutting-edge technologies and get understanding of clinical trials. You will have the opportunity to impact an industry-leading portfolio of targeted therapy programs.


  • You will be working on an exciting research project to understand mechanisms of resistance to inhibitors of DDR by studying clinical samples collected at disease progression, such as tumour biopsies or circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA)
  • You will be accountable for delivery of robust scientific data and interpretation from clinical samples.
  • You will be generating new data from clinical samples and analysing data generated previously to understand mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to DDR inhibitors. These may include analysing DNA and RNA sequencing, epigenetics, immunofluorescence or immunohistochemistry and proteomics.
  • You will be involved in driving assay development to understand specific mechanisms of resistance in clinical samples.
  • You will be working in a matrix environment, collaborating with people from other functional teams in addition to Translational Medicine, such as preclinical science, clinical teams and bioinformatics.
  • Understanding novel mechanisms of resistance will inform on future strategies of treatment for patients

Essential for the role

  • PhD in molecular and cell biology, preferably in DNA damage response
  • Experience in cancer research, understanding of key cellular signalling pathways
  • Proven ability to independently design and execute experiments and interpret results.
  • A strong scientific track-record, as evidenced by published or accepted papers in well recognized peer-reviewed journals, oral and/or poster presentations at scientific meetings
  • Highly developed problem solving and risk management skills, and attention to detail.
  • Highly developed collaborative working skills.

Desirable for the role

  • Experience in translational research working with clinical samples
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work well in a fast-paced collaborative environment, with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Expertise in bioinformatics / big data analysis

This is a 3-year programme - FTC

Location, Cambridge UK

So, what’s next?

Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you!

Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

You’ve got this!