Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Zebrafish development

The Francis Crick Institute
Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience
01 Sep 2017
29 Sep 2017
Contract Type
Full Time


We seek a talented and motivated postdoc with expertise in working in zebrafish development to join Dr Caroline Hill's Developmental Signalling Laboratory. The Hill lab is focused on understanding how TGF-b superfamily signalling pathways function normally in early vertebrate development and in adult untransformed tissue culture cells, and how these signalling pathways are perturbed in cancer. The group comprises ten people - five postdocs, three PhD students, one masters student and a principal laboratory research scientist. Four of the lab members focus primarily on working on these signalling pathways in zebrafish development, whilst the others focus on the more mechanistic and disease aspects of signalling.

For recent publications see:

Agricola et al., 2011 Mol. Cell 43, 85-96

Wu et al., 2011, PLoS Biology 9, e.

Reichert et al., 2013, Development 140, 4435-4444

Viz??n et al., 2013, Sci Signal 6 ra106.

van Boxtel et al., 2015, Dev Cell 35, 175-185

Coda et al., 2017, eLife 6, 720


Dr Hill's laboratory focuses on cell signalling in early vertebrate development and disease. Details of research projects currently being undertaken can be seen at:

Work in the Hill laboratory exploits the very powerful combination of early vertebrate developmental systems (primarily zebrafish embryos), together with a variety of model tissue culture systems, and some mouse models. Methodologies used range from developmental and cell biology and next generation sequencing to computational modelling.

The project will focus on dissecting the regulation and function of one of the key TGF-b superfamily pathways, Nodal, in early zebrafish embryos. It aims to determine how the Nodal signalling pathway interacts with other signalling pathways to specify different cell fates.

In this project, some of the specific aims could include but not limited to:

  • Why is prolonged Nodal signalling required for specification of endoderm progenitors and their subsequent migration?
  • Why are endodermal cells specified in a salt and pepper pattern? In addition to prolonged Nodal signalling, what other signalling pathways are required?


The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: Bold, Imaginative, Open, Dynamic and Collegial, in addition to the following:


  • PhD in developmental biology or in the final stages of PhD submission
  • Good knowledge and experience of working with zebrafish as a developmental system
  • Technical expertise in zebrafish embryology and imaging
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in referred journals
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings
  • Experience of experimental design
  • Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group


  • Experience in signal transduction research

Postdoctoral Training Fellows 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.


The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

The Francis Crick Institute will be world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; to developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; to public engagement; and to helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.