Research Associate in Centre for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,304 - £39,345 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
11 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
27 Jun 2021
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

Two Postdoctoral Research Associate positions (PDRA) are available in the Spagnoli lab. in the Centre for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine at King's College, London. Our team uses interdisciplinary approaches to study pancreatic development and stem cells. The candidates will join a Wellcome Trust-funded research programme aiming at studying the pancreatic tissue environment in all its complexity using cutting-edge models.

Single-cell sequencing has unveiled a high degree of cellular heterogeneity within the pancreatic microenvironment and has opened the way for a systematic study of intercellular interactions. We seek to spatially reconstruct the organisation of functional niches in the pancreas and study how they induce distinct pancreatic differentiation programmes using mouse models and human pluripotent stem cells. This will set the stage for manipulating combinatorial 3D organ niches towards engineering pancreatic cells for regenerative medicine.

The research programme will require expertise in transcriptomics, high-resolution imaging, stem cell culture, mouse genetics, computational analytical methods. Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. degree or have submitted his/her Ph.D. thesis. We wish to appoint a PDRA with background in development and stem cell biology and a PDRA with computational background interested in single-cell omics, spatial transcriptomics and image analysis.

The Spagnoli lab. is a young dynamic team, member of the outstanding Centre for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine at King's College London. This is a world-class research environment with all facilities essential for this ambitious research programme.

The posts will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 1 year with possibility of extension for further 4.
Full-time posts - 100% full time equivalent.

Key responsibilities


  • Undertake original biomedical research as an integral member of a group working on pancreatic development and stem cells, using animal model (mouse), iPSC, and human fixed tissues
  • Analyze cellular heterogeneity in the pancreatic microenvironment using spatial transcriptomics and high resolution imaging
  • Integrate image analysis with single cell transcriptome information to spatially reconstruct the organisation of functional niches in the pancreas
  • Use most recent computational analysis to identify cell-cell interactions and ligand-receptor pairs (e.g. between pancreatic epithelium and mesenchyme)
  • Develop novel approaches to functional study cell-cell interactions and niche factors in vivo in the mouse and in stem cell-based human models of pancreatic development
  • Assist, supervise and train other members of the group, including students and other research staff in their application in related lab projects
  • Manage the progress and set goals for achievement of project aims in collaboration with team leader including the execution of literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and report
  • Prepare reports on results for verbal and multimedia presentations at regular lab meetings, departmental seminars, national and international meetings
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer review journals or book chapters
  • Facilitate collaboration and networking, which engages and supports the activities of this research
  • Communicate and collaborate with other members of the team
  • Maintain up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive laboratory notes

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

  1. PhD (awarded or near completion) in Biological Sciences or related discipline
  2. Expertise in mouse embryology and development
  3. Expertise in cell culture (ES and/or iPS cells)
  4. General web-lab skills including molecular biology
  5. Expertise in imaging acquisition and analysis (confocal, multiphoton)
  6. Experience in single-cell RNASeq analysis
  7. Strong computing skills: programming skills, competence in the use of imaging analysis software (Image J, Imaris, MATLAB, machine learning)
  8. Track record of publishing in the research area
  9. Excellent communication (oral and written) skills
  10. Self-motivated, with the ability to work under pressure & to meet deadlines
  11. Working and designing experiments independently, excellent record keeping
  12. Able to supervise, work and integrate with others in the laboratory

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience in spatial transcriptomics
  2. Experience in CRISPR-Cas9 approaches

*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
Include a statement of previous and future research interests along with the application (CV, List of publications and the contact information of two or more references).

This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.

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