UK DRI Gene Therapy Technician

London (Greater) (GB)
£32,676-£37,297 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Monday, 20 September 2021
End of advertisement period
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

Dementia is the greatest health challenge of our century. 


To date there is no way to prevent it or even slow its progression, and there is an urgent need to fill the knowledge gap in our basic understanding of the diseases that cause it. 


The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the biggest UK initiative driving forward research to fill this gap. 


We are a globally leading multidisciplinary research institute of 700 staff investigating the spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders causing dementia, with laboratory-based research groups located at University College London, the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Edinburgh University, Imperial College London and King’s College London. 


Researchers at the UK DRI at King’s use innovative approaches to explore the biological mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Their goal is to defeat dementia by uncovering vital new knowledge that will lead to the design of smarter diagnostics and effective treatments. The team aim to understand the fundamental biological processes involved in dementia at a molecular level – and to use that knowledge to design new ways to diagnose and treat disease more precisely. 


We are seeking two Research Assistants with molecular and cellular biology skills to expand our cutting-edge Gene Therapy team developing novel viral vectors to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). The focus for these two positions will be to develop novel gene supplementation and knock-down reagents in cellular and rodent models of disease to determine which shows most promise for clinical application. The successful candidates will be responsible for generating novel plasmid and Adeno Associated Viral (AAV) vectors and testing their potency in cellular and animal models. Essential molecular and cellular biology skills include gene cloning, purifying plasmid DNA, cell culture, transfection and the quantification of vector genomes, expressed mRNA and protein. These posts offer an exciting and rewarding opportunity to pursue a career in Gene Therapy in Academia or Industry. 


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract until December 31st 2022 

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


Key responsibilities

  • Cloning novel genes into plasmid vectors and preparing mini and maxi-preps  
  • Transfection of cell lines and primary cells by plasmids and viral vectors 
  • Protein quantification by Immunocytochemistry and western blot 
  • Processing animal tissues for immunohistochemistry and western blotting 


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 

  • Advanced molecular and cellular biology techniques 
  • Cell line and primary cell culture 
  • Quantification of proteins by ELISA and western blotting 
  • Advanced microscopy using confocal imaging  
  • Quantitative image analytical software and statistical analyses 


Essential criteria  

1.       BSc or MSc in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Neuroscience 

2.       Experience of cloning genes into plasmids 

3.       DNA extraction and sequencing 

4.       Experience in plasmid and viral vector cellular transduction 

5.       Experience of protein quantification by western blot 

6.       Experience of immunocytochemistry and advanced microscopy 

7.       Willing to work occasionally during weekends and bank holidays 


Desirable criteria

1.       Production of AAV, Adeno or Lenti viral vectors 

2.       Cell or tissue transduction using AAV, Adeno or Lenti viral vectors 

3.       mRNA extraction and quantification by RTPCR 

4.       Protein extraction and quantification by ELISA 

5.       Sectioning animal tissues and performing immunohistochemistry 

6.       Quantitative analysis from fluorescence microscopy imaging 

Further information

Please contact Professor Shaw if you have been shortlisted -

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