Senior Technician

King's College London

Job id: 074365. Salary: £36,532 – £41,299 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 08 September 2023. Closing date: 17 September 2023.

Business unit: Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine. Department: SCMMS Denmark Hill.

Contact details:Ana Georgian. [email protected]

Location: Denmark Hill Campus. Category: Professional & Support Services.

Job description 

The primary purpose of this position is to provide laboratory support to the research group led by BHF Chair of Cardiology, Professor Ajay Shah. The group comprises 20-30 research staff and students at any time. The research activities of the group encompass a wide range of wet-lab, dry-lab, animal and clinical research, including molecular and cellular biology, ex vivo and in vivo physiology and gene-modified models. There is an emphasis on complex biochemical analyses (e.g. redox modifications, LC/MS) and integrative physiology (e.g. echocardiography and isolated organs, tissues and cells). 

The role holder will work closely with research staff and students on a day-to-day basis, with the majority of time spent on assistance with laboratory, technical activities, in particular cell culture (incl. primary cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)), genotyping and similar duties. 

The post holder will support and report to the Senior Technical Officer (Lab Manager), Dr Ana Georgian, to provide assistance in laboratory maintenance and administration: liaising closely with academic, research and professional services staff undertaking specific scientific research projects. In addition, they will assist the group with iPSCs maintenance, differentiation into cardiomycoytes and QC.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for until 31 Mar 2025.

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

Key responsibilities

The role holder is expected to work as an integral member of the Department of Cardiology, working alongside the School’s professional services team to provide high quality technical support to the Cardiology Chair’s group in their research activities.

  • To participate in practical procedures within the Shah Research laboratories, as part of scientific projects, providing recognized technical expertise. In particular, cell culture, both primary cells and iPSC lines.
  • To support the Cardiology Chair’s group compliance with all regulations and guidelines, including health and safety, biological safety and the human tissue act; contributing to process development and the adoption of best practice to ensure compliance with all regulations.
  • To support and liaise with the Senior Technical Officer in managing the group’s research laboratories, equipment, and house-keeping activities (buffer management, stock-checks, etc); acting as a key interface between the laboratory research activities and the Senior Technical Officer.
  • To adapt to a dynamic environment with changing priorities, maximising the efficiency of the technical support being provided and resolving problems as they arise.
  • To develop and maintain working relationships with immediate colleagues within the Department and School as well as the wider university, where needed, in order to deliver the required support.
  • To train and supervise more junior staff or student, where appropriate; providing advice and guidance on laboratory processes, university policies, processes and where required, sourcing information to support and facilitate the groups’ work activities.
  • To actively participate in formal and informal departmental meetings and participate in cross-School/Faculty/ University projects and initiatives as directed by the Cardiology Chair
  • To ensure that accurate records, both written and electronic, are created and/or maintained pertaining to research activities, health and safety, animal work and other relevant activities.
  • To actively engage in Continuing Professional Development and training initiatives, in line with the University Technician Commitment

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

Work closely with the Cardiology Chair, Senior Technical Officer as well as the group’s research staff and students to ensure technical support for the group is professional, well-executed and timely – complying with university policies, funders’ terms and conditions, and adopting best practice.

Essential criteria

  • Minimum level 4 qualification, e.g. higher apprenticeship, HNC or other Level 4 award, plus work experience in a relevant technical/scientific post; OR Considerable knowledge and skills gained through work experience in a relevant technical or scientific post; OR Relevant undergraduate degree or equivalent, and research experience in a relevant technical or scientific post; extensive hands-on training in wet-laboratory practices (cell and molecular biology, tissue culture, biochemical assays).
  • Proven practical experience in scientific procedures in particular isolation of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, culture of iPSC lines and experience with iPSC differentiation protocols, genotyping of murine models, but also Precellys homogenization, SDS-PAGE, Westerns (including LiCor Odyssey analysis), histology, immunofluorescence, AVV and lentiviruses-based cell transduction, having working knowledge and understanding of the scientific theories underpinning these procedures.
  • Ability to apply learnt techniques/skills to the work context, including the training of others in known or established techniques.
  • Excellent time management, planning & organisational skills, with the ability to work under pressure to effectively manage competing priorities, while maintaining good attention to detail.
  • Excellent diplomacy and communication skills are essential, both orally and written, including digital communication competencies.
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office packages, including direct experience with Word, Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, KFIN, and good numerically competencies with excel.
  • Working knowledge of legislations and regulations governing the area of work e.g. health & safety, environmental sustainability and human tissue.
  • Willing to undergo further education and training in technical procedures or legislations, required for the maintenance and organisation of the labs, facilities and services within the Department and School.
  • Good problem-solving skills, able to apply previously gained knowledge and experience to the resolution of new technical challenges that may arise.
  • Able and willing to provide support beyond core hours, as required.
  • Desirable criteria

  • Familiarity with research techniques and practices specific in the area of cardiac metabolism.
  • Isolation and/or cell culture experience with hiPS cells and/or neonatal cardiomyocytes.
  • Some experience of laboratory administration, e.g. purchasing via Science Warehouse, Unit4business and/or KFIN.
  • This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.

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