Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biology

London (Central), London (Greater)
£38,304 - £43,822 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Sep 04, 2020
End of advertisement period
Oct 04, 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are seeking a postdoctoral research associate to work on an exciting 24-month project to determine how immunotherapies, such as anti-PDL1, can be best combined with fractionated radiotherapy in preclinical models.

This work will directly influence future clinical trial design in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy as part of their treatment. There is currently a need to develop new treatment strategies to improve the outcome for patients with locally-advanced HNSCC, in particular those who would otherwise receive radiotherapy alone due to their age or if platinum-based chemotherapy is deemed inappropriate. There is also a need to develop strategy that could enhance radiotherapy effect in HPV positive HNSCC patients without increasing toxicities seen using concurrent chemotherapy with radiation.

The experimental work spans immunology, radiobiology, molecular biology, in vitro cell studies and preclinical in vivo combination therapy and radionuclide imaging studies. In this post, the successful candidate will work closely with Dr Terry and Dr Kong, as well as collaborate with other members of the Department of Imaging Chemistry and Biology and scientists at external institutions and universities.

This is a full-time, fixed-term contract for 24 months.

Key responsibilities

  • Molecular biology assessment of and protein expression in murine and human cancer cells
  • In vivo growth and therapy experiments using small animal oncology models
  • In vivo irradiation studies with precision small animal X-ray irradiator
  • Ex vivo immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry studies
  • Preclinical radionuclide imaging studies with 18F-FDG
  • In vitro killing and DNA damage studies in patient-derived head and neck cancer organoids to determine optimal combination of immunotherapy and (fractionated) radiotherapy
  • Accurate and comprehensive record keeping and robust documentation of data acquisition.
  • The job holder will regularly gather data, conduct detailed analyses and interpret standard data/information, reporting and presenting findings as appropriate. They will assist others to acquire or interpret research data, highlighting any issues.
  • Participate at conferences (national, international and internal conferences), including presenting posters and oral presentations.
  • Prepare manuscripts in collaboration with supervisors and other members of the Department.
  • Design and undertake experiments independently as well as in collaboration with others.
  • Supervise, train and assist junior laboratory members.
  • Collaborate with other members of the department, lending skills to support other's research where appropriate
  • 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

  • PhD awarded or near completion in immunology, biology or radiobiology
  • BSc (2:2 or above) biology or biochemistry
  • Expertise in experimental cell biology and skills in cellular, molecular, immunological and (radio)biological assays and methodologies
  • Skills in small animal handling and in vivo oncology experimentation
  • Advanced skills in study/experimental design and data analysis
  • The ability to take individual responsibility for planning and undertaking own work, according to clinical and scientific deadlines.
  • Skills in presenting scientific research in the form of papers, posters and oral presentations
  • Excellent record keeping
  • Collaborative approach to scientific research
  • Self-motivated to undertake scientific research and implement own initiatives
  • Able to problem solve

Desirable criteria

  • Postdoctoral experience in immunology, biology or radiobiology
  • Home Office personal license for animal experimentation
  • Radiation training and knowledge of handling and safety of biological and radioactive materials
  • Ability to adequately perform small animal precision radiotherapy using the X-Strahl SARRP and PXI SmART
  • Experience in small animal radionuclide imaging studies

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. Should the successful candidate be awaiting the award of their PhD, the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spinal point 30 with the title of Research Assistant until confirmation of the award of the PhD has been received. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6, spine point 31.

Further information
King's Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine is one of the largest and most successful centres for research and education in the UK.
Our research is strategically aligned to King's Health Partners with Clinical Academic Groups bringing together academics and clinicians who are committed to ensuring faster translation and adoption of research innovation into clinical practice.

The School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences is driven by our commitment to improve the way we deliver healthcare through the use of advanced engineering.
A diverse and talented group working across the whole MedTech sector, we advance research, innovation and teaching progress through our shared mission of engineering better health for patients worldwide.
Our state-of-the-art labs and clinical-research facilities are embedded in St Thomas' Hospital where we can ensure our research projects are fully aligned with current clinical practice. Long-term collaborations with global MedTech companies and new partnerships with innovative start-ups ensure multiple pathways to translation.

The Department of Imaging Chemistry and Biology studies the development and assessment of molecular imaging agents to help us improve detection and understanding of disease. Our research groups work together in highly integrated ways with an emphasis on strong team ethos. In this way, we make exceptionally efficient use of our laboratory space and diverse academic expertise.

This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.

This advertisement does meet the requirements for a Certificate of Sponsorship under Home Office regulations and therefore the university will be able to offer sponsorship for this role.

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