Pervasive Transcription

The emergence of high-throughput sequencing techniques has led to a new era of RNA research. It is now well accepted that less than 5% of the genome encodes proteins, whilst over 90% of the human genome is actively transcribed into RNAs that have no obvious coding capacities, known as non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). This has led to the idea of ‘pervasive’ transcription, which refers to the fact that transcripts are not restricted to well-defined functional features, such as coding for proteins.

You will therefore develop a research profile in the area of RNA research, in particular focussing on the diverse functions of ncRNAs in regulating gene expression and/or their critical roles in the development and progression of human diseases.  A proven record of achievement in international quality publications is essential to contribute to the University’s ambition to excel at REF2020. You will also be expected to attract research income on an individual and collaborative basis with colleagues in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Health and Astbury Centre of Structural Molecular Biology.

In addition, you will provide research supervision and attract research students to the University and undertake a teaching load deemed appropriate by the Head of School, which will be significantly reduced in the first years of the fellowship. Excellent facilities and infrastructure are available for medical bioinformatics within the new MRC Centre, structural molecular biology analysis (protein crystallography, NMR, mass spectrometry and protein interaction techniques), in addition to cell-based imaging, including confocal, super-resolution and electron microscopy. Moreover, high content screening facilities are available through the BioScreening Technology (adhirons, siRNAs) and Medicinal Chemistry (small molecule) groups.

You will have a strong background in RNA biology and ncRNAs. Areas of particular interest are functional transcriptome-wide studies and ncRNAs relevant to human disease. Individuals with experience of attracting external funding are particularly encouraged to apply.

University Grade 8 (£38,511 to £45,954)

For informal enquiries about the role please contact either Professor Adrian Whitehouse, Director of Research, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, tel: +44 (0)113 343 7096, email: or Professor David Westhead, Head of School, Molecular and Cellular Biology, tel: +44 (0)113 343 3116, email:

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