Senior Postdoctoral Scientist – INTERNAL ONLY

King's College London

Job id: 078866. Salary: £51,174 – £52,550 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 14 November 2023. Closing date: 19 November 2023.

Business unit: IoPPN. Department: Basic & Clinical Neuroscience.

Contact details:Christopher Shaw. [email protected]

Location: Denmark Hill Campus. Category: Research.


Job description

We are seeking for a senior research  scientist with molecular, cellular biology and in vivo skills to expand our cutting-edge Gene Therapy programme. The successful candidate will be part of a team working on exciting projects to generate viral vector gene therapies aimed at treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS also known as motor neuron disease) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) on a commercially funded project. You will develop novel gene supplementation and knock-down reagents in cellular and rodent models of disease as proof of concept and efficacy for potential clinical application.

You will be responsible for generating novel plasmid and Adeno Associated Viral (AAV) vectors and testing their potency in cellular and animal models. For in vivo experiments, you will be required to perform and train others to perform brain and spinal cord surgical techniques on rodent models of disease. Also, you will perform, and train other team members to perform behavioural testing on these animals as defined by the protocol and as well as be involved in sacrificing animals and processing the harvested tissue resulting from these experiments for histological sectioning, staining, imaging and quantitative analyses. You will be responsible for designing experiments, writing study protocols and reports and as well as supervising and training team members (Technicians and PhDs) to perform the scientific research projects. All experiments will be undertaken at a very high standard and all data treated with complete confidentiality.

This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract until 31st December 2024.

Key responsibilities

  • Perform laboratory work to optimise the efficiency of our preclinical studies.  
  • Train and supervise the work of post-doctoral scientists, technicians, PhD students to deliver high-quality data from our preclinical studies including:  
  • Cloning novel genes into plasmid vectors
  • Transfection of cultured cell lines and primary cells by plasmids and vectors
  • Designing and execution of in vivo experiments 
  • Supervision and undertake rodent colony care, breeding, genotyping and surgical procedures
  • Stereotactic surgery on the brain and spinal cord of rodents 
  • Optimal perfusion, harvesting, fixation and sectioning of animal tissues. 
  • Imaging using slide scanning and confocal microscopes 
  • Image analysis using advanced analytical software platforms 

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  

1.       PhD in Neuroscience, Gene Therapy or equivalent biological field 

2.       An ability to work independently and within a team 

3.       Ability to supervise constructively and show leadership 

4.       Attention to detail and high standards of accuracy in all work 

5.       Ability to prepare study design and reports 

6.       Experience in AAV gene transduction and expression 

7.       Designing and cloning novel genes into plasmid vectors  

8.       Experience in tissue collection and processing for immunohistochemistry and biochemistry 

9.       Experience in quantitative image analytical software and statistical analyses 

10.    Experience with advanced microscopy using confocal imaging  

11.    Experience with transfection of cultured cell lines and primary cells by plasmids and vectors 

12.    Experience in Rodent colony maintenance, genotyping and stereotactic neurosurgery 

Desirable criteria

1.   Willing to prepare manuscripts for publication 

2..   Willing to work occasionally during weekends and bank holidays 

This post is subject to an Occupational Health clearance.

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