Project Officer, Molecular Biology

30 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
30 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

The School of Biological Sciences is looking for an enthusiastic Project Officer to participate in the recently awarded College of Science Collaborative Award entitled ‘Uncovering the temporal gene expression dynamics of phytoplankton with single-cell RNA sequencing’.

This collaborative project is headed by the labs of Asst Prof Adriana Lopes dos Santos (marine ecology) and Asst Prof Marek Mutwil (plant computational biology). Furthermore, we are closely collaborating with the labs of Asst Prof Holden Li and Asst Prof Han Wei Hou.

This project aims to introduce Drop-Seq to study the diurnal gene expression in marine phytoplankton. Drop-Seq, a “in house” microfluidic device, analyzes mRNA transcripts from droplets of individual cells in a highly parallel fashion. This single-cell sequencing method uses a microfluidic device to compartmentalize droplets containing a single cell, lysis buffer, and a microbead covered with barcoded primers. Drop-Seq allows us to capture the gene expression of individual phytoplanktonic cells by seizing the different gene expression states of each individual under the diurnal cycle. Studying the cell cycle can tell us a great deal about how a cell works and the mechanisms controlling its division, but this information is limited to very few phytoplankton species as typical experiments require the collection of many RNA-seq samples, which can be economically prohibitive.

The College of Science seeks a diverse and inclusive workforce and is committed to equality of opportunity. We welcome applications from all and recruit on the basis of merit, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability.

Job Responsibilities

  • Grow and cultivate marine algae
  • Learn to operate a microfluidic device Poseidon (
  • Implement the single cell RNA sequencing experimental pipeline, Drop-Seq (
  • Assist in the administrative duties of the lab, which includes procurement, inventory checking, safety/risk assessment and equipment maintenance
  • If you are interested, we can also teach you bioinformatics and coding in Python which will allow you to analyze the gene expression data

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Engineering or related 
  • Successful candidates must have an enthusiasm for research, be self-motivated and well-organized
  • Strong team player with good written and verbal communication skills
  • Able to plan tasks independently and demonstrate good troubleshooting skills
  • Experience with literature search, designing, conducting experiments and data analysis will be advantageous
  • Good working attitude, responsible and able to learn things quickly

We regret only shortlisted candidates will be notified.