Research Associate in Epitope Discovery

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,304 - £41,517 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 19 April 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Research Associate in Epitope Discovery

Job ID: 018986

Salary: £38,304 - £41,517 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance

Posted: 22-Mar-2021

Closing date: 19-Apr-2021

Business unit: Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Department: Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology

Contact details: Dr Michele Mishto, 

Job description

This post is made available through a Cancer Research UK - Programme Foundation Award. Dr Michele Mishto (Dep. of Immunobiology & CIBCI) is lead investigator of a project entitled “Identification of tumour-specific spliced epitopes to target large cohorts of cancer patients by immunotherapy”. The project is funded by Cancer Research UK (programme Foundation Award) for 6 years, beginning in 2021. 

The successful candidate will be expected to lead, under the supervision of Dr Mishto, a programme of research whose principal aims are:
(i) discovery unconventional (mutated) epitopes relevant in anti-cancer immunotherapy.
(ii) to isolate CD8+ T cell clones specific for HLA-I-restricted spliced neoepitopes carrying recurrent driver mutations in melanoma and pancreatic adenocarcinoma;
(ii) isolate and clone their TCRs and use them to investigate the epitope generation in cancer cells;
Detailed knowledge of applied cellular and molecular biology and immunobiology, biochemistry and cloning would be highly advantageous.

The successful candidate will have opportunities to interact with national and international collaborators with a broad expertise, which varies from computational biology to clinics. This post will be located in the Guy's Campus of King's College London and in the Francis Crick Institute.

This is a full-time post, a fixed-term contract for 12 months.


Key responsibilities

  • Isolation of CD8+ T cell clones
  • TCR sequencing and cloning in viral expressing vectors
  • Participating actively in related research projects, for example those looking at immune responses to antigenic peptides in patients 
  • Develop, lead and conduct designated research projects in collaboration with members of the group, department, division or the faculty and initiate and conduct research collaborations nationally and internationally. To be responsible for co-ordinating and implementing research projects
  • To make research initiatives and original contributions to the research programme wherever possible, including funding applications and to contribute freely to the team research environment in a manner conducive to the success of the research project as a whole

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

  • A PhD in Cell or Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Immunology or a related subject
  • Track record of peer-reviewed scientific publications

Desirable criteria 

  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of cell biology, molecular immunology, antigen presentation, T and B cell biology
  • Experience of mammalian cell culture
  • Experience of working with cell culture, molecular and cell biology projects, antigen presentation, T and B cells
  • Experience of working with flow cytometry
  • Extensive experience in modern cellular, molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging techniques
  • Experience of T Cell clone generation and maintenance
  • Effective time management and organisational skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with researchers
  • Ability to manage a busy research project

Further information
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.

Additional Requirements & Expectations 

  • To execute experiments, understand and analyse and interpret the findings to often complex analytical outcomes obtained by FACS analysis, ELISA, CTL assays, etc.
  • Performing routine tissue culture and immune assays under sterile conditions
  • To optimise viral vector for the transformation of T cells
  • To carry out DNA and RNA sequencing and cloning
  • Reporting /analysing/storing assay results
  • To keep up to date with scientific, clinical and professional issues in particular developments in the specific subject area and disseminate this information to the group
  • To maintain consistent and regular progress reporting to the Head of Group
  • To visit, for short periods, other European Centres to learn techniques
  • To engender good lines of communication with all colleagues and collaborators
  • To establish and maintain communication with academic and industry colleagues within the UK and overseas and to learn and to develop part of the methodologies by visiting research groups oversee.
  • To undertake literature searches to explore potential research projects, and to be able to interpret and present the findings of the literature searches and advise the research teams appropriately regarding potential projects.
  • Be proficient in analysing a range of issues and interactions and producing workable outcomes
  • To drive and make the major contributions to the objectives of this study
  • To contribute to the induction and direction of other research staff and students as requested
  • To contribute to responsibility for ensuring that equipment is safe and maintained in working order and assist with laboratory upkeep
  • To liaise with the Principal Investigator on all aspects of service provision and development
  • To be able to work autonomously within department operating procedures and protocols
  • To engage in internationally-leading research and to take a leading role in determining the future path of this research and its reporting
  • To take an active role in the Department of Immunobiology and CIBCI
  • Preparation of manuscripts for the publication, and conference presentation of the results of the research
  • To contribute to the supervision of PhD and Masters students where required
  • To contribute to the presentation and drafting of research bids and proposals
  • To contribute to the overall activity of the research team and departments as required
  • The role holder must be able to work in front of a computer, with complex compute-based machinery (e.g. flow cytometer) and in tissue culture hoods for extended periods of time
  • The role holder is expected to show general sensitivity to all staff and students
  • To maintain good working relations with other departments to promote effective teamwork

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