KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Immune Modulation in Haematopoietic Malignancies

Location
London (Greater) (GB)
Posted
25 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
03 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Immune Modulation in Haematopoietic Malignancies

Job ID: 010564

Salary: £38,304-£43,822, including London Weighting Allowance

Posted: 23-Nov-2020

Closing date: 03-Jan-2021

Business unit: Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Department: Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Contact details: Jodie Bellamy , Jodie.bellamy@kcl.ac.uk

Denmark Hill Campus   Research    

Job description
We are looking for an ambitious post-doctoral research associate to apply state of the art single cell technologies to tease apart the pro and anti-leukaemia components of the T cell response in hematologic malignancies.   

The postholder will be a key researcher in a program funded by a King’s Health Partners-Celgene partnership to study the immunological landscape in Age-related Clonal Haematopoiesis (ARCH) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and will be based in the newly established Immuno Haemato-oncology Lab led by Dr Giorgio Napolitani. 

ARCH is an age-related phenomenon where individuals acquire mutations in their bone marrow and blood cells. In most cases these mutations are not associated with clinically apparent haematological disease, but in a small proportion of individuals they lead to blood cancers such as MDS and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).  The immune system, and in particular T cells, can play a dual role in ARCH and MDS: they can contribute to the inflammation dependent suppression of bone marrow function associated with these conditions, but they can also recognize and kill mutated cells and be harnessed for immunotherapy.  

The successful applicant will use Mass Cytometry and Single Cell RNAseq on clinical samples from patients with ARCH and MDS to identify immune cell subsets which could be targeted in immuno-therapy.  

The post-holder will be embedded in a collaborative multidisciplinary environment including immunologists, haematologists and bioinformaticians, and will have the opportunity to be involved in other projects at the interface between basic and translational immune-haematology, in particular on CAR- T cells and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  

We are looking for a candidate who already has a solid knowledge base in Immunology and/or single cell RNA sequencing and is willing to push boundaries in the analysis of human immune responses to cancer. 

Dr Napolitani is committed in helping promising researchers in developing their career, and potential applicants are encouraged to contact him (giorgio.napolitani@imm.ox.ac.uk). 

Some relevant recent publications: 

  1. Napolitani et al. Clonal analysis of Salmonella-specific effector T cells reveals serovar-specific and cross-reactive T cell responses. Nat Immunol 2018. 19/742-54 
  2. Jaiswal S, Fontanillas P, Flannick J, et al. Age-related clonal hematopoiesis associated with adverse outcomes. N. Engl. J. Med. 2014. 371/2488-2498 
  3. Sperling AS et al. The genetics of myelodysplastic syndrome: from clonal haematopoiesis to secondary leukaemia Nat. Rev. Cancer. 2017; 17. 5-19 

This post will be offered as a fixed-term contract for 36 months with possibility of extension to 60 months in total 

This is a full-time post

Key responsibilities

  • Management of own research, planning, developing and executing experiments  
  • Ability to contribute ideas for new research projects and research income generation 
  • Be highly organised and be able to work effectively to deadlines and as part of a team 
  • Contribute directly to scientific discussions with Dr  Napolitani and other members of the group 
  • Work as part of a team to prepare data reports and documentation e.g. grant applications, manuscripts for publication, scientific meetings; attend scientific meetings to present data 
  • Ability to work flexibility to accommodate needs of the research programme. 
  • Undertaking other duties that are commensurate with the grade and responsibilities of the post.     

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 in relevant area of Immunology, Cellular/ Molecular Biology or Biochemistry  
  • Ability to manage own academic research and associated activities 
  • Experience in T cell culture techniques  
  • Experience in Multi-Colour Flow Cytometry 
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings 
  • Experience in Multi-Colour Flow Cytometry 
  • Evidence of good reasoning skills  
  • Experience in handling patient samples 

Desirable criteria 

  • Experience in Single Cell RNA sequencing techniques 
  • Bioinformatic and basic knowledge of computing environment (R or Python)  

*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
Dr Napolitani’s group is part of a research programme at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre dedicated to translating research into better treatments for patients.  The other groups focused on blood cancers include: Haematology Group (Dr Lynn Quek), Leukaemia Stem Cell Biology (Professor Eric So), Gene & Cell based therapies (Professor Farzin Farzaneh), CAR-T Cell Programmes (Professor Ghulam Mufti), bone marrow failure syndromes (Professor Judith Marsh), post-transplant immunotherapies (Professors Francesco Dazzi and A. Pagliuca and Dr. Victoria Potter) and King’s College Hospital Heamato-oncology Molecular Diagnostics Centre (Robin Ireland).  

These research programmes benefit from an extensive Biobank of blood cancers, and a recent investment in infrastructure and new equipment.  Research groups at Denmark Hill will have on-site access to a BD Aria Fusion Flow Sorter, BD Lyric Flow Analyzers, a Helios CyTOF, an Illumina NextSeq Sequencing System, 10x Genomics Chromium platform and automated sample and nucleic acid handling systems.  These research programmes are closely linked to clinical services, where research activities are translated into novel therapies including CAR-T cells/immunotherapies (with specific emphasis on allogenic CART-T clinical trials in Lymphomas/ALL & AML).

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.