MRC LifeArc Research Associate

London (Greater)
£38,826 - £45,649 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Dec 06, 2021
End of advertisement period
Jan 06, 2022
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description
King's/Royal Free/UCL Gene Therapy Innovation Hub  
MRC/LifeArc/BBSRC have recently announced the establishment of this Gene Therapy Innovation Hub.  One of the main points of focus in the innovation component of the Hub will be the further development of new cell lines and vectors for the GMP compliant manufacture of viral vectors for the treatment of a host of acquired and inherited genetic disorders.  This work will be led by a team of 3 dedicated staff, working in close collaboration with other members of the R&D team engaged in the development and manufacture of vectors for human clinical studies.   
Appointees will be expected to have a sound knowledge of cell and molecular biology in general and to be very familiar with both concepts and practical aspects of the production of viral vectors, and specifically, the manufacture of gamma-retrovirus, lenti-virus and AAV based vectors.  Additional experience in associated technologies, such as the use of bio-reactors, downstream processing, purification and concentration of viral vectors, as well as familiarity with GMP regulations for the manufacture of Investigational Medicinal Products will be distinct advantages.  
The successful candidates will be appointed within Bands 6 at a grade commensurate with their qualification and experience.  The position will be based at the Cell and Gene Therapy group at King’s College London (CGT-K) on the Denmark Hill Campus.  Each position is funded in the first instance for a period of 3 years, subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period and annual assessment of performance and productivity.  The appointees will work closely with each other and with a team of over 30 full -time scientists engaged in various areas of related research, development, manufacture, quality control and quality Assurance.  For further information please contact Prof Farzin Farzaneh, with a copy of your CV and a personal statement, outlining the relevance of your previous experience and current interests. 
This post will be offered on an  a fixed-term contract for 3 years/ 0 months 
This is a full-time post

Key responsibilities

  • Development of new cell lines, including adaptation of adherent cell lines to serum free suspension growth.  
  • Development of protocols for bio-reactor based culture of suspension cells, and for the manufacture of viral vectors from these cells. 
  • Development of lentiviral vectors for the delivery and expression of therapeutic genes to specifically targeted cells. 

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 
1.        PhD in a cell and/or molecular related subject 
2.        Hands-on experience in the study and development genetically modified cell lines and viral vectors. 
3.        Good conceptual and practical expertise in various aspects of research related to cell and molecular biology in general and to the development and applications of gene therapy in particular. 
4.        Self-motivation and ability to conduct research with little need for day-to-day detailed supervision of tasks, but able to engage with peers and the senior members of the group effectively, to debate scientific ideas and where appropriate to give and to take instructions, effectively. 
5.        Evidence of good ability to communicate effectively and fluently in written and spoken English.  
6.        To be able to generate and to identify novel ideas and to take the necessary steps to demonstrate experimental evidence of validity or to invalidate them.    
7.        Ability to engage in effective exchange of scientific ideas and to prepare and present data for publication and for the submission of patent filings for the protection of novel intellectual property.  
* 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

The selection process will be based on the initial review of CVs, followed by discussions with the candidates and the relevant members of CGT-K, including a formal interview process.  Appointments will be made subject to satisfactory references and health clearance.  
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

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