Research Assistant in Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology

London (Greater)
£32,676, including London Weighting Allowance
Friday, 30 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 31 May 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description
We are looking for an experienced chemistry technician to support our multi-disciplinary team. We are based in the Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology at King’s College London in central London, just steps away from London Bridge station.
Our lab has an established track record in using biocompatible hydrogels to encapsulate mammalian cells for regenerative applications and disease modelling (e.g. Salzlechner et al. Adv Healthc Mater 2020; Jowett et al. Nat Mater 2021). We require a research assistant with experience in chemical synthesis to modify naturally derived polymers such as hyaluronic acid by adding reactive groups. The person appointed to this post will also conjugate PEGs to custom-synthesised peptides and then purify, perform quality control, and characterise the conjugates using techniques such as NMR, HPLC and SEC.
We are looking for a candidate with a BSc or better in Chemistry or a related field who has experience working in the field of polymer or peptide chemistry. Practical experience with chemical synthesis, and health and safety related to working in a chemistry laboratory are essential.
This full-time post is funded for 15 months, in the first instance.
Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Eileen Gentleman:

Key responsibilities

  • Create stocks of hydrogel components by performing chemical syntheses to modify hyaluronic acid with methacrylate and Dopa groups
  • Prepare modified hyaluronic acid for NMR analyses
  • Create stocks of PEG hydrogel components by performing reactions to conjugate peptides to PEGs
  • Optimise reaction conditions to conjugate new peptides to PEG
  • Purify PEG-peptide conjugates and perform characterisation and quality control experiments using NMR, HPLC, and SEC
  • Maintain stocks of general reagents for chemistry work, including working with suppliers to provide custom-synthesised reagents
  • Support additional work in the laboratory including mammalian cell culture, flow cytometry, immunostaining, confocal microscopy, histology, western blot, ELISA, rheology, and qPCR.

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. BSc/MSc in chemistry or related subject area
  2. Experience performing chemical syntheses using synthetic (e.g. PEG) or naturally derived polymers (e.g. hyaluronic acid)
  3. Experience preparing samples for NMR and interpreting data
  4. Experience performing HPLC/SEC
  5. Good understanding of polymer chemistry
  6. Good understanding of peptide chemistry and peptide design
  7. Experience performing general chemistry laboratory maintenance, including handling gas cylinders and liquid nitrogen

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience working with biological hydrogels and mammalian cell culture
  2. Experience using flow cytometry
  3. Experience performing gene expression analyses by qPCR
  4. Experience using confocal microscopy & western blot
  5. Experience performing measurements using rheological techniques

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