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Job id: 091766. Salary: £37,332 -£37,982 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 26 June 2024. Closing date: 21 July 2024.

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

Contact details: Maria Jimenez-Sanchez.

Location: Denmark Hill Campus. Category: Research.

About us

A Research Assistant position is open to explore the role of iPSC-derived astrocytes in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This position is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK to work in the laboratory of Maria Jimenez-Sanchez, in collaboration with the groups of Marc David-Ruepp and Sarah Mizielinska, at King’s College London.

About the role

The successful candidate will be passionate, committed and with a keen interest in our research in astrocytes, proteostasis and neurodegeneration. We are looking for someone with previous knowledge and experience in cell culture, general biochemistry, and molecular biology techniques. Ideally, we are seeking for candidates with experience culturing and differentiating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and with expertise in genome editing techniques. The role will require flexibility and autonomy, and it will include working on a project independently while also participating in a highly collaborative environment.  

In this project, iPSCs will be engineered to introduce mutations identified in patients using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, followed by differentiation to astrocytes and potentially other cell types. You will be responsible for maintaining cell cultures and to work independently to characterize these cells using molecular and cellular biology assays, in order to understand how astrocytes can drive non cell autonomous toxic roles in ALS/FTD. In addition, you are expected to participate in core duties of the laboratory and to support other ongoing projects. The project may also involve working with mouse primary glial cultures and human brain tissue. Experiments from this pilot project will expand our limited knowledge about mutations in proteostasis related genes and the astrocyte response in ALS/FTD.

This position would be suitable for a recent master student or a current research assistant, who has some experience in the lab and who wants to increase laboratory and research skills. Data generated from this project may be used to seek for funding opportunities.

Our labs are based at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, in King’s College London, Denmark Hill Campus.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract to 30/09/25.

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

About you

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

Essential criteria

  1. BSC in a relevant field (e.g. Neuroscience, Biochemistry or other Biological Sciences). 
  2. Theoretical and practical knowledge of cellular and molecular neuroscience, glial cells and neurodegenerative diseases. 
  3. Ability to work independently in cell culture, and to work in aseptic conditions. 
  4. Ability to work independently in general biochemistry techniques such as western blotting and ELISA; and cell biology techniques, including immunofluorescence and microscopy. 
  5. Ability to design, conduct and interpret experiments to address specific objectives. 
  6. Good IT skills including MS Office, knowledge of statistical analyses of laboratory data, knowledge of programmes for preparation of data. 
  7. Ability to work independently and as part of a research team. 
  8. Driven, highly motivated, enthusiastic and genuinely interested in basic neurodegeneration research, with proactive, adaptable and flexible approach to work 

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience in culture and differentiation of iPSCs.
  2. Experience in gene editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9. 
  3. Experience in molecular biology, including DNA/RNA extraction, molecular cloning, quantitative PCR, confocal and high content imaging.

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

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 on August/September.

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

This post is subject to an Occupational Health clearance.