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Research Fellow in Reproductive Physiology

Southampton, United Kingdom
£34,980 to £38,205 Per annum
Closing date
13 Mar 2024

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Academic Discipline
Biological Sciences, Life sciences
Job Type
Academic Posts, Research Fellowships
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Human Development and Health

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Salary:   £34,980 to £38,205 Per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 33 months
Closing Date:  Wednesday 13 March 2024
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2617824AF

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow position within Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine, based at Southampton General Hospital. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of an interdisciplinary research project, “The placental barrier and the fetal exposome: exploring the mechanisms underlying fetal exposures”. The position is offered as a 33 month fixed-term contract funded by the BBSRC.

Project Overview:

Fetus exposures can adversely affect its development in the womb and, subsequently, health across the life course. The placenta is regarded as a barrier which protects the fetus. However, our recent discovery of trans-syncytial nanopores is leading to the reassessment of the placenta as a barrier. 

The successful applicant will use physiological transfer studies, NMR-based metabolomics and state-of-the-art 3D imaging to study how the fetus is exposed to pharmaceutical drugs and environmental toxins. This applicant will also work with collaborators in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment who will be computationally modelling transfer across the placental barrier.

The project team is led by Professor Rohan Lewis (placental perfusion and imaging) and includes Professor Jonathan Swann (NMR-based metabolomics), Dr Bram Sengers (Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, computational modelling) and Dr Paul Brownbill (University of Manchester, Placental Perfusions) as co-investigators. 

The successful candidate will use techniques including placental perfusion, NMR-based metabolomics, volume EM, and super-resolution light microscopy. Working with Dr Sengers, they will then help run computational models to understand better how the placenta protects the fetus. 

We are looking for applicants with a PhD in biological sciences. Experience with placental biology, biological imaging or physiological preparations or metabolomics would all be advantages, although specific training will be provided. The ability to work flexible hours to facilitate placental collection is also necessary. Good communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team and to interact effectively with NHS staff and patients are also essential.

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Rohan Lewis ( or Dr Bram Sengers (

A standard DBS check is required for this role.

The Faculty of Medicine holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award demonstrating commitment to equal opportunities and gender balance in the workplace.  The Faculty recognises that applicants may seek flexible working patterns which will be considered as part of the recruitment process.  For further information including key benefits designed to help maintain and support employees' well-being and work-life balance, please see our working with us website pages.

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