Postdoctoral Research Associate

London (Greater)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Thursday, 4 November 2021
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description
A Postdoctoral Research Associate position (PDRA) is available in the Sangrithi lab in the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King’s College London. Our lab uses a combination of cellular, molecular and computational approaches to study of germline development and stem cells. The candidate will join a Wellcome Trust funded research programme, aimed at studying the mammalian germ cell niche in its complexity using cutting-edge models.  
High-throughput single-cell sequencing has unveiled molecular pathways that are crucial in the gonadal environment and have paved the way for systematic studies of intercellular interactions. We seek to spatially reconstruct the organisation of functional niches in the gonad, and study how they induce distinct differentiation programmes using human pluripotent stem cells and mouse models. This will set the stage for manipulating 3D organ niches towards engineering stem cells for regenerative medicine. This is an exciting opportunity following on our recent work (Sangrithi et al. 2017, Dev Cell & Lau et al.  2020), and the project aims to discover the function of genes on the X-chromosome in mammalian germ cells and their role in idiopathic and sex chromosome aneuploidy associated infertility. The research programme will require expertise in stem cell culture, transcriptomics, high-resolution imaging and genetics. We wish to appoint a PDRA with background in stem cell biology and development. Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. degree or should be within 3 months of submitting their thesis. 
The Sangrithi group is a group of scientists, focused on reproductive biology, early embryonic development and the causes of infertility. Our group is a member of the outstanding Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London, which provides a vibrant and stimulating research environment, with all the facilities essential for this ambitious research programme. 
The Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine is located in Guy’s Hospital. It is internationally recognized for research on adult and pluripotent stem cells and is a focus for cutting-edge stem cell research currently taking place across the College and its partner NHS trusts, as part of King’s Health Partners and the NIHR Biomedical Research Council. Through the Centre, King’s aims to drive collaboration between scientists and clinicians to translate the potential of stem cells into clinical reality for patients. 
For informal enquiries regarding suitability for the position, please contact the group leader Dr. Mahesh Sangrithi ( ). 
This post will be offered on a fixed term for 1 year, and potentially be extended for up to 4 years.  
Skilled candidates from the EU and internationally are welcome to apply, and may be considered via the Global Talent visa scheme. 
We are looking for a candidate to start in March 2022

Key responsibilities: 

  • Undertake original biomedical research as an integral member of a group working on reproductive biology and stem cells, using iPSC, animal model (mouse), and human fixed tissues  
  • Develop novel approaches to functional study cell-cell interactions and niche factors in vivo in the mouse and in stem cell-based human models of testis / ovary development 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Attend and present at seminars, journal clubs and conferences. 
  • Manage the progress and set goals for achievement of project aims in conjunction with the group leader, including up-to-date literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and report 
  • Assist, supervise and train other members of the group, including students and other research staff in their application in related lab projects 
  • Contribute to publications arising from the research projects. 
  • Keep clear and up-to-date records of work. 
  • Contribute to collaborative atmosphere of the department. 
  • Prepare reports on results for oral and multimedia presentations at regular lab meetings, departmental seminars, national and international meetings 
  • Comply with all relevant safety legislation to ensure a safe working environment. 
  • Take part in public engagement activities. 
  • The post holder will be expected to plan and prioritise their workload, with competing and shifting priorities under pressure of deadlines. 
  • Share skills by training others and a willingness to collaborate. 
  • Facilitate collaboration and networking, which engages and supports the activities of this research 

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.    PhD (awarded or close to completion) in Biological Sciences or related discipline 
2.    Previous experience working in cell culture (ES and / or iPS cells 
3.    General web-lab skills including molecular biology 
4.    Expertise in imaging acquisition and analysis (confocal, multiphoton) 
5.    Expertise in mouse embryology and development 
6.    Plan and manage research activity in collaboration with others. 
7.    Past peer-reviewed publication(s) in a relevant discipline. 
8.    Excellent record keeping / attention to detail, and an organized and systematic approach to research 
9.    Pro-active, enthusiastic, positive attitude 
10.  Self-motivated, with the ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines 
11.  Able to plan own day-to-day research activity within framework of agreed programme.  
Desirable criteria

1.    Experience in use of reporters and genetic manipulation 
2.    Understanding of germ cells early embryo development. 
3.    Knowledge of computational approaches to address biological questions  
4.    Ability to make collaborative and independent decisions and ability to think strategically 
5.    Strong commitment to training and the development of new skills e.g., bioinformatics. 
* 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. 

Further information

Candidates are strongly encouraged to include a personal statement of previous and future research interests along with the application (CV, List of publications and the contact information of two or more references).   
About the Department: Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
The Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine is led by Professor Fiona Watt, who’s laboratory comprises approximately 30 research staff and visiting scientists and is internationally recognised for research on adult and pluripotent stem cells. Along with Professor Watt’s group there are nine other research groups operating at the Centre, bringing the total number of staff to approximately 80 people.  
Research at the Centre is focused on how stem cells interact with their local environment, or niche. We believe that an understanding of these interactions is important for developing effective cell therapies in the clinic. Located on the Guy’s Hospital campus, the Centre acts as a focus for cutting-edge stem cell research taking place across the College and its partner NHS Trusts, as part of King’s Health Partners. To facilitate collaborations within King’s and with external partners, we have opened a ‘Stem Cell Hotel’ where researchers can access specialist equipment and technical support to study stem cell behaviour at single cell resolution. We also host an international seminar series and run the ‘Stem Cells @ Lunch’ seminar series to share ideas and unpublished data. Our researchers are committed to public engagement and take part in diverse outreach events. Detailed information about the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative medicine can be found in the link below: 
About the School: The School of Basic & Medical Biosciences is led by Professor Mathias Gautel and comprises five departments with a wide range of expertise and interests.  Using a bench to bedside approach, the School aims to answer fundamental questions about biology in health and disease and apply this to the development of new and innovative clinical practise, alongside providing a rigorous academic programme for students. 
This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.

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