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Job id: 082686. Salary: £43,205 - £50,585 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 18 January 2024. Closing date: 03 March 2024.

Business unit: Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine. Department: Randall Cell & Molecular Biophysics.

Contact details: Aleksej Zelezniak. aleksej.zelezniak@kcl.ac.uk

Location: Guy's Campus. Category: Research.

Job Description

About the Project

You will join highly applied interdisciplinary project at the intersection of synthetic biology, AI, and biotechnology. We aim to explore the potential of non-conventional yeasts to develop novel cell factories for producing food proteins. With a team of experts from diverse fields, we are on a mission to revolutionise food production in an eco-friendly way. The project has the real potential to go far beyond fundamental research and has the potential to evolve into a real enterprise in the near future.

We are looking for a passionate and skilled Molecular Biologist with a specialisation in yeast synthetic biology research. The candidate will play a crucial role in developing yeast-based systems to produce high-quality, sustainable food proteins. This position offers the unique opportunity to be part of a pioneering team working on a highly applied research project with significant environmental and social impact. You will have an opportunity to work together within a team of bioinformaticians, ML engineers and experimental biologists to develop novel systems for protein production and explore untapped biology of diverse yeasts.

This post will be offered on a fixed term contract for 3 years with possibility of extension.

Key responsibilities

  • Lead research initiatives involving non-conventional yeast genome targeting focused on exploring their potential in protein production. 
  • Apply modern genome targeting and gene editing techniques to develop yeast strains for protein production. 
  • Develop microfluidics and single cell NGS methods for yeasts.
  • Design and execute experiments to work with multiple yeast strains simultaneously. 
  • Work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team, including bioinformaticians, experimental biologists, and food science experts.
  • Analyse and interpret data, including leading and contributing to the preparation of research papers and presentations.
  • Stay abreast of the latest developments in synthetic biology and gene editing technologies.
  • Supervise and mentor junior researchers and students engaged in the project.

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 Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Bioengineering, or related fields.
  2. Demonstrated experience in working with yeast.
  3. Proficiency in modern gene targeting and editing techniques.
  4. Strong background in synthetic biology, fermentation science and bioprocess engineering.
  5. Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.
  6. Proven track record of publications in relevant scientific journals.

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience working with non-conventional yeasts (Beyond S. cerevisiae)
  2. Experience in working with microfluidics

* 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.

Further information

We ask all candidates to submit a copy of their CV, and a supporting statement, detailing 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.