Research Fellow in Cancer Research Ref 20657

School/department: Brighton and Sussex Medical School / Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Hours: Full-time or part-time hours considered up to a maximum of 1.0 FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Contract: Fixed term for 3 years
Reference: 20657
Salary: Research Fellow I starting at £36,333 to £43,155 per annum depending on experience, pro rata if part time.
Placed on: 07 July 2023.
Closing date: 04 August 2023. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected Interview date: To be confirmed
Expected start date: July – September 2023

Job description

Applications are invited for the post of Research Fellow in Cancer Research (non-clinical) at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). We are looking to recruit a scientist with a strong background in cancer research, or a related discipline to work on a recently awarded Blood Cancer UK project grant.

The appointee will join our internationally recognised haemato-oncology research team. The Haemato-oncology group is a successful collaborative partnership between clinicians and scientists based in the Medical Research Building at BSMS. The laboratory-based ‘Pepper Team’ ( and computational systems biology ‘Mitchell Team’ ( currently represent the two largest groupings. Our main areas of expertise are in modelling the tumour microenvironment, understanding the role of NF-kB in disease progression and the development of drug resistance and the pre-clinical evaluation of novel targeted agents. The successful candidate will benefit from our strong network of national and international collaborators and our established links with academic medicinal chemists and pharmaceutical companies. The selected candidate will be part of the vibrant Haematology Research Group, spanning BSMS and the University of Sussex (

We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a PhD in a relevant area, who can demonstrate technical expertise in a range of laboratory techniques, ideally including tissue culture and flow cytometry. Computational skills are also desirable but the opportunity for training in computational biology will be available.

Project title: Using NF-κB ‘fingerprints’ to identify therapeutic vulnerabilities within subsets of B cell malignancies.

Although there have been major advances in treatments for B cell malignancies, heterogeneity both between and within diseases contribute to the variable responses to current therapies. Therefore, there is an urgent need for personalised strategies to accurately predict the optimal drug/drug combination for an individual patient. Aberrant NF-κB transcription is a major player in B cell malignancies and is activated by numerous signalling pathways within the tumour microenvironment (BCR, TLR9, CD40L etc) resulting in proliferation and upregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins. The NF-κB signalling network is comprised of multiple components, which can be activated by different stimuli, giving rise to distinct NF-κB states. We have developed a novel flow cytometry-based NF-κB fingerprinting assay and demonstrated distinct expression patterns between and within different CLL patient samples and DLBCL cell lines. We propose that these different NF-κB fingerprints, coupled with nuclear NF-κB subunit activity, and global gene transcription states, are the key to identifying therapeutic vulnerabilities in individual tumours. The project will generate experimental data, using primary CLL cells and DLBCL cell lines, to create a library of NF-κB signalling states, and then use this library to inform mechanistic mathematical modelling/simulations. The ultimate goal of this interdisciplinary project is to exploit computational models to accurately identify the ‘right drug(s) for the right patient’ and then experimentally test these predictions in the laboratory using patient-derived tumour samples.

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Chris Pepper (, Professor Andrea Pepper ( or Dr. Simon Mitchell ( at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

The University is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) at Sussex. 

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download Job description and Person Specification Ref 20657 [PDF 242.67KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

This role has been assigned an eligible SOC code and meets the salary requirements for Skilled Worker Sponsorship if full time. Please consult our Skilled Worker Visa information page  for further information about Visa Sponsorship.

Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.

How to apply

Download our academic application form [DOC 199.50KB] and Personal Details and Equal Opportunities Form [DOCX 65.11KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

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