Research Officer PCUK

Swansea University

Salary: Grade 8 £36,386 – £42,155 per annum together with USS pension benefits
Contract Type: Fixed term position until 30/04/2026
Hours: Full time 35 hours
Swansea University Medical School, ILS1, Singleton Campus

We are seeking a highly talented and enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to join the EV Biology Research Group, working on an exciting new project titled “A bittersweet study: Development of an assay using extracellular vesicle glycoproteins for early detection of aggressive prostate cancer”. This is a full-time appointment on a fixed term contract for 3 years. The project is led by Dr Jason Webber (Swansea University Medical School) and is funded by Prostate Cancer UK.

When diagnosing patients with prostate cancer (PCa), it is difficult to discriminate patients with slow growing tumours from those with clinically significant, aggressive, disease who require urgent treatment.  Currently, doctors rely on tissue biopsy, which is an invasive procedure with potential for numerous complications. There remains an unmet need for a simple, non-invasive, assay for diagnosis of PCa. Recently, there has been much interest in the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a source of biomarkers and we have developed several proof-of-concept assays highlighting the potential application of EVs in early detection of PCa.

The appointee will take primary responsibility for the day-to-day conduct of a research focussed on the development of a plate-based test to detect glycosaminoglycans present on the surface of EVs, from blood, to identify patients at risk of aggressive PCa. We will utilise a novel PCa organoid system, which mimics aggressive PCa, for identification of biomarker candidates prior to further testing and validation using PCa patient serum. This is a multidisciplinary project that involves collaboration with researchers at the Swansea Bay University Health Board, Newcastle University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Turku.

Applicants should hold a PhD degree in a biomedical science subject. Applicants are required to have extensive cell culture and molecular biology experience. In addition, you must have experience working with clinical samples and / or extracellular vesicles. Evidence of conduct, interpretation and reporting of qualitative and quantitative research, as well as excellent organisational skills, are essential. Experience working with, or alongside, clinical colleagues is of additional benefit.

The role provides an exciting opportunity to join Swansea University Medical School, one of the UK’s leading Medical Schools. Swansea University Medical School provides an interdisciplinary approach, educating and training the next generation of doctors, life scientists, and health professionals. It collaborates with the NHS, business and the third sector in a spirit of open innovation and has established itself as a world-class place to learn, research and innovate. The Medical School became the first department within the University to achieve an Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award in 2015, and was re-awarded in 2019 in recognition of its commitment to equality. The University also holds the Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 86% of research quality within the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science is world leading and internationally excellent.

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