KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

Research Technician (In vivo) - Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Location
London (Greater) (GB)
Salary
£28,717 - £32,676 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Posted
08 Apr 2021
End of advertisement period
06 May 2021
Ref
020405
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

Job description


We are seeking an individual to join the Patient Derived Models (PDM) team in the Breast Cancer Now Research Unit directed by Professor Andrew Tutt.
 
We wish to hire EITHER:
 
A Junior Research Technician (Grade 4: £28,717 - £30,215 per annum, inclusive of London weighting allowance)
 
OR
 
A Senior Research Technician (Grade 5: £32,676 - £35,366 per annum, inclusive of London weighting allowance)
 
There is only one role available. Please state in your cover letter which role you wish to be considered for, based on your level of experience. Please refer to the appropriate key responsibilities, skills, knowledge, and experience for each grade.   
 
Job description (applies to both junior and senior research technician roles):
The post-holder will be based within Professor Tutt's laboratory at the KCL Guy's Campus. Professor Tutt's research group focuses on identifying and characterising targets and associated biomarkers for the treatment of breast cancers. In particular, the group focuses on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and cancers associated with functional DNA damage repair deficiencies, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. In recent years, Professor Tutt's research group have published work in major journals including Nature Medicine, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Research and Science Translational Medicine and Breast Cancer Research.
 
The post holder will work within the Patient Derived Models (PDM) team in Professor Tutt's laboratory under the direct supervision of Dr Jennifer Trendell and oversight of Dr Rebecca Marlow (PDM Project Licence Holder).
 
The main focus of the PDM team is to develop patient derived xenograft (PDX) models from breast cancer patient samples and to subsequently use these models for translational studies. To date, the PDM team have generated a large panel of in vivo PDX experimental models of breast cancer.
 
In addition to contributing to generation of new PDX models, the post holder will also work on additional in vivo experimental models of breast cancer including cell line xenografts, metastatic models, including using bioluminescent imaging, and genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM). Together the aim of these experiments is to identify and characterise targets and associated biomarkers for breast cancer treatment.
 
The objective of this post is to provide expert technical support within the PDM team for in vivo studies. Key duties will include (but are not limited to):
 

  • Animal handling and health monitoring.
  • PDX model generation and characterisation.
  • Surgical implantation of PDX tumours and cell line xenografts into mice.
  • Helping to establish mammary intraductal injection (MIND) as a new method for growing PDX and cell line xenograft models at our site.
  • Participation in drug administration studies to characterise PDX sensitivity to standard treatments and to test response to novel therapeutic agents.
  • Metastatic modelling of breast cancer.
  • In vivo whole animal imaging (including bioluminescent IVIS imaging).
  • In vitro characterisation and validation of PDX models, including DNA and RNA extraction and STR profiling.
  • General laboratory duties such as maintenance of stocks, database management and coordinating shipment of samples to other sites (i.e. for sequencing).

 
Applicants should have a BSc and/or MSc in biological sciences and previous experience with in vivo research. It is essential for the post-holder to hold a UK Personal Licence and/or have undertaken Home Office Modules A, B training in order to fulfil the key objectives of this role (Additionally Module C is highly desirable).
 
Knowledge of breast cancer in vivo models, including PDX and intraductal models (e.g. Sflomos et al 2016 PMID: 26947176) is advantageous. The post-holder will demonstrate good interpersonal skills and collaborative working practices. Excellent organisational and communication skills are essential.
 
The post-holder will be based in Professor Tutt's own laboratory at the KCL Guy's Campus but will also conduct work on behalf of other PIs in the BCN programme directed by Professor Andrew Tutt. On regular occasions, the appointed candidate will also interact with the in vivo and Organoid Modelling teams within the Breast Cancer Now Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research.
 
Job description - Senior Research Technician role (Grade 5):
Only experienced in vivo research technicians should apply for the senior research technician role.
Applicants to this role are expected to have a minimum of 2.5 years in vivo experience; including previous experience working with tumour xenograft or PDX models.
Applicants for this role should also have extensive experience of standard in vitro laboratory techniques e.g. tissue culture and other cell and molecular biology techniques.
 
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 2 years (until 31st October 2023)
This is a full-time post

Key responsibilities

  • Perform in vivo research to the highest ethical standard under the supervision of Dr Trendell and oversight of Dr Marlow and direction of Professor Tutt.  
  • Participate in research projects involving transgenic models, cell line xenograft and patient derived xenotransplant (PDX) models. 
  • Assist in maintenance of tumour resources including tumour disaggregation and generation of new samples for engraftment. 
  • Assessment of standard of care therapeutic response in breast cancer in vivo models. 
  • Participate in research projects developing novel therapies for breast cancer to prepare data for publication. 
  • Help to establish mammary intraductal injection (MIND) as a new method for growing PDX and cell line xenograft models at our site. 
  • In vitro characterisation and validation of PDX models, including DNA and RNA extraction, STR profiling and coordinating submission of PDX and patient samples for sequencing.  
  • Processing of patient bloods. 
  • Collection of data for these research projects and analysis of datasets. 
  • Generate research reports for experiments carried out.  
  • General laboratory duties such as maintenance of stocks and cataloguing samples. 
  • Provide excellent data management, data storage and record keeping in notebooks, files and computers, in line with KCL laboratory policy.  
  • On occasion work at Breast Cancer Division at the Institute of Cancer Research on collaborative projects.  
  • Liaise with research colleagues, support staff and administrative team for the support of the research.  
  • Remain up to date with the relevant scientific, technical and methodological literature.  
  • Participate in and present research finding at regular group meetings. 
  • Any other duties that are required which are consistent with the nature and grade 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 
 
Junior Research Technician Role (Grade 4) 
 
Essential criteria

 
1.       BSc (Hons) degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. 
2.       Home Office Module A-B training.  
3.       Experience of working with animals and studies involving in vivo models. 
4.       Interest in cancer research.  
5.       Proven experience in a research laboratory environment. 
6.       Knowledge of tissue culture and cell biology techiques. 
7.       Excellent communication and presentation skills. 
8.       Problem solving skills and attention to detail. 
9.       Computer literacy, excellent data collection and data management skills. 
10.   Ability to work unsupervised, to work under pressure to meet deadlines and to manage and prioritize own workload.  
11.   Experience of in vivo dosing techniques (oral gavage and intraperitoneal injection) is highly desirable. 
 
Desirable criteria
 
1.       MSc awarded (or near completion) in a relevant subject. 
2.       Home Office Module C training and Home Office Personal Licence. 
3.       Previous experience working with tumour xenograft or PDX models. 
4.       Experience of cell Biology techniques (tissue culture, cell transfection, cell-based assays), molecular biology and histopathology. 
5.       Management of transgenic colonies. 
 
Senior Research Technician Role (Grade 5)
 
Essential criteria

 
1.       BSc (Hons) degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. 
2.       Home Office Module A-C training and Personal licence.  
3.       Minimum of 2.5 years experience of working with animals and studies involving in vivo models.  
4.       Previous extensive experience working with tumour xenograft and/or PDX models. 
5.       Experience of various dosing techniques for cancer therapeutics (intraperitoneal injection, oral gavage, IV injection). 
6.       Surgical experience: including knowledge of aseptic surgical techiques and experience of induction and maintenance of anesthesia. 
7.       Experience of cell biology techniques (tissue culture, cell transfection, cell-based assays), molecular biology and histopathology. 
8.       Proven ability to design and implement experiments using state of the art techniques. 
9.       Excellent communication and presentation skills. 
10.   Problem solving skills and attention to detail. 
11.   Computer literacy (including experience of using graphpad prism), excellent data collection and data management skills. 
12.   Ability to work unsupervised, to work under pressure to meet deadlines and to manage and prioritize own workload.  
 
Desirable criteria
 
1.       MSc awarded (or near completion) in a relevant subject. 
2.       Experience of metastatic cancer models and in vivo whole animal imaging (including IVIS). 
3.       Experience of mammary intraductal injection models (MIND). 
4.       Management of transgenic colonies. 
5.       Co-authorship of at least 1 peer-reviewed publication. 
 
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

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