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Job id: 089605. Salary: £43,205 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 14 May 2024. Closing date: 30 June 2024.

Business unit: Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine. Department: Institute of Pharmaceutical Science.

Contact details: Professor Khuloud Al-Jamal.

Location: Waterloo Campus. Category: Research.

About us

We are a Nanomedicine Research Group based at Medicines Development research group, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (IPS), Faculty of Life Science & Medicine, King’s College London in the heart of London.

We are seeking a motivated postdoc to join out group to strengthen the in vivo research portfolio and make contributions to cancer and brain research which will enhance the world-class research portfolio of the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences and King’s Health Partners clinical academic groups of Pharmaceutical Science.

In Medicines Development research group, we build on understanding of drugs to develop medicines of high safety and efficacy. We invite early career researchers who can capitalise on the rapidly developing nanomedicines to enable delivery of advanced therapeutics (cells, peptides, proteins, vaccines, nucleic acids). The applicant is expected to bring expertise in enabling technologies for nanomedicines and rodents’ models to the Medicines Development and Drug Discovery research groups and contribute to the healthcare missions identified in the Life Sciences Vision at King’s College London (KCL).

About the role

A Research Associate position to research on Brain Cancer Immunotherapy is available for 12 months initially commencing in July 2024 (or soon after) to join a multidisciplinary and a highly collaborative team working on lipid nanoparticle-mediated co-delivery of immunogenic cell death chemotherapeutics and immune checkpoint blockade nucleic acids to treat brain cancer. Applicants will have the opportunity to contribute to other projects linked to brain research as opportunities arise.

Applicants should have a relevant PhD field and preferably post-doctorate experience in one of the following fields: pharmacy, drug delivery, cancer biology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, material/chemical science or any other relevant fields. Holding a Home Office (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Licence or equivalent and experience in handling animals is highly desirable.

The applicant is expected to contribute but not limited to the following: formulate and characterize lipid nanoparticles co-encapsulating drugs and nucleic acids. They will coordinate with neurosurgeons to acquire human tissue samples for further subculturing and xenotransplantation, perform cell culture studies using cell lines and patients’ tumour tissues, characterise immune cell death biomarkers and gene silencing at cellular and molecular levels in vitro and in vivo, prepare a humanised mouse model of brain cancer, perform tumour growth delays and survival studies, perform immune cell phenotyping in tumour tissues by flow cytometry, supervise MPharm/MSc students and co-supervise PhD students, maintain records of animal use and submit annual return form to the Home Office, contribute to grant writing, submit periodic report to the funder, disseminate research findings through writing research articles and present at international conferences and contribute to the agile and friendly working environment within the group.

Experience in one or more of the followings are required to successfully undertake the project: viral and non-viral delivery, lipid nanoparticle formulation, nucleic acid delivery, cancer immunotherapy, primary cell culture, stem cell culture, molecular biology techniques (namely PCR, flow cytometry and DNA/protein gels), neuroscience, orthotopic and humanised tumour mouse models, organ bio-distribution and pharmacokinetic studies and in vivo imaging. The position in the first year is funded by Brain Research UK.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate ability of independent thinking, engage in collaborative projects internally and externally. This is a highly attractive opportunity for mentoring an early career researcher aspiring to develop a track record in academia. Ability to manage projects and demonstrate organised administrative skills are essential. The applicant will co-supervise MPharm/MSc students.

This post will be based at The Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London, and will be part of a large multidisciplinary team of scientists of different research backgrounds. Performing experiments in other London-based institutions is required. The applicant will report progress periodically to Professor Khuloud Al-Jamal and collaborate with co-investigators and collaborators of the project.

The contract is for 12 months from the contract start date on full time basis (35 hours per week) with possibility for renewal up to 2 years subjected to availability of funds and successful delivery of the project objectives/milestones.

About you

To be successful in this role, we are looking for candidates to have the following skills and experience:

Essential criteria

  1. Hold a PhD degree in pharmacy, drug delivery, cancer biology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, material/chemical science or any other relevant field.
  2. Experience in nanoparticles formulations and nucleic acids research.
  3. Experience with working with animals.
  4. Experience in cell culture and biological assays (e.g. flow cytometry, ELISA, PCR, WB, IHC)
  5. Experience in immunological assays.
  6. Successfully supervised MSc students.
  7. Present research findings clearly and comprehensively to others.
  8. Ability to administer and manage research project financially and on day-to-day basis.

Desirable criteria

  1. Hold personal Home Office licence.
  2. Previous postdoc experience.
  3. Experience in handling human tissue samples.
  4. Experience in surgical and/or tumour animal models.
  5. Experience in grants writing.

 *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.

Downloading a copy of our Job Description

Full details of the role and the skills, knowledge and experience required can be found in the Job Description document, provided at the bottom of the next page after you click “Apply Now”. This document will provide information of what criteria will be assessed at each stage of the recruitment process.

Further information

This post is subject toOccupational Health clearances.

We pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming. We embrace diversity and want everyone to feel that they belong and are connected to others in our community.

We are committed to working with our staff and unions on these and other issues, to continue to support our people and to develop a diverse and inclusive culture at King's. 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.

To find out how our managers will review your application, please take a look at our ‘How we Recruit’ pages.

Interviews are due to be held w/c 15/07/2024.

We are able to offer sponsorship for candidates who do not currently possess the right to work in the UK.