Research Associate

King's College London

Job id: 086465. Salary: £43,205 – £44,347 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 20 March 2024. Closing date: 01 May 2024.

Business unit: Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine. Department: Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine.

Contact details:Francesca Spagnoli. [email protected]

Location: Guy’s Campus. Category: Research.

Job Description

We have postdoctoral Research Associate positions available in the Spagnoli lab. in the Centre for Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London. Our team uses interdisciplinary approaches for studying pancreas development and islet cell engineering from stem cells. The candidates will be part of a T1D Grand Challenge-funded research programme aiming at harnessing the islet microenvironment in all its complexity for stem cell therapy of diabetes.

This is an exciting interdisciplinary research programme that will require expertise in stem cell culture, human tissue, bioengineering, computational analytical methods and islet transplantation. Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. degree or have submitted his/her Ph.D. thesis. We wish to appoint highly motivated individuals: one PDRA with background in development and stem cell biology and one PDRA with background in stem cell biologyand animal model transplantation.

The Spagnoli lab. is coordinating the multi-partner, interdisciplinary consortium and will be primarily responsible for developing innovative approaches to closely mimic key features of the native in vivo islet microenvironment using stem cells. The candidates will be leading these efforts and help in developing this ambitious research program.

The Spagnoli lab. is a highly dynamic, inclusive team, doing exciting science and member of the outstanding Centre for Gene Therapy & Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London, UK. This is a world-class research environment with all facilities essential for this ambitious research programme.

The posts will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 36 months.

This role is a Lab based role with candidates to be based 1005 on campus.

This is a full-time post – 100 % full time equivalent.

Key Responsibilities

  • Undertake original biomedical research as an integral member of a group working on pancreatic development and stem cells, using iPSC, human fixed tissues and animal model (mouse)
  • Develop novel bioengineering approaches to functional study cell-cell interactions and niche factors in vivo in the stem cell-based human models of pancreatic development
  • Use most recent computational analysis to analyse single-cell RNASeq dataset and identify cell-cell interactions and ligand-receptor pairs
  • Involved in transplantation experiments of SC-derived islets in diabetic mouse models and outcome analysis
  • Assist, supervise and train other members of the group, including students and other research staff in their application in related lab projects
  • Manage the progress and set goals for achievement of project aims in collaboration with team leader including the execution of literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and report
  • Prepare reports on results for verbal and multimedia presentations at regular lab meetings, departmental seminars, national and international meetings
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer review journals or book chapters
  • Facilitate collaboration and networking, which engages and supports the activities of this research
  • Communicate and collaborate with other members of the team and of the multi-partner consortium
  • Maintain up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive laboratory notes

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • PhD (awarded or near completion) in Biological Sciences or related discipline
  • Expertise in cell culture (human ES and/or iPS cells)
  • Knowledge of developmental and cell biology
  • General web-lab skills including molecular biology
  • Expertise in imaging acquisition and analysis (confocal, multiphoton)
  • Basic Experience in single-cell RNASeq analysis
  • Track record of publishing in the research area
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) skills
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work under pressure & to meet deadlines
  • Experience in working collaboratively
  • Excellent record keeping, working and designing experiments independently
  • Able to supervise, work and integrate with others in the laboratory
  • Desirable criteria

  • Experience in pancreas development and islet biology
  • Strong computing skills: programming skills, competence in the use of imaging analysis software (Image J, QPath, Imaris, MATLAB, machine learning)
  • Expertise in bioengineering, biomaterials
  • * Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

    We ask all candidates to submit a copy of their CV, including aList of publications and the contact information of two or morereferences, and a supporting statement, detailingof previous and future research interests and how they meet the essential criteria listed in the advert. If we receive a strong field of candidates, we may use the desirable criteria to choose our final shortlist, so please include your evidence against these where possible.

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