Research Associate in Bioengineered Disease Models in the Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative B
We are looking for a new post-doctoral research associate to join our interdisciplinary team. The PDRA will be based in the lab of Dr Eileen Gentleman on the King’s College London Guy’s Hospital campus in central London, just steps from London Bridge Station.
The goal of this project is to build a biophysical toolkit to monitor and manipulate matrix remodelling around human intestinal organoids encapsulated within synthetic hydrogels, which serve as an in vitro model of inflammatory bowel disease. Our goal is to better understand how physical cues impact the biology of the intestine and drive disease. This project will combine a range of experimental approaches from the biological and physical sciences, including standard cell and molecular biology techniques to characterise organoid identity (qPCR, immunofluorescence, cytokine bead arrays), as well as atomic force microscopy force spectroscopy, microrheology and fluorescence lifetime imaging.
The post-holder will also build on our existing hydrogel platform to design and synthesise new hydrogel materials that soften and stiffen at a controlled rate (confirmed by rheology), which will allow us to recapitulate pathological remodelling in vitro.
This post is suitable for someone with a PhD in the biological or physical sciences who has interdisciplinary experience and is keen to work across subject areas.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 3 years
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
- Perform original biomedical research by combining human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived intestinal organoids with synthetic hydrogels and biophysical techniques
- Design experiments with attention to appropriate controls to generate robust data
- Perform atomic force microscopy force spectroscopy measurements on organoids encapsulated within hydrogels
- Carry out experiments involving advanced imaging of encapsulated organoids, including for microrheology and using fluorescence lifetime imaging
- Culture human iPSC and differentiate them into intestinal organoids, using established techniques
- Characterise organoid identify using a combination of molecular biology and imaging techniques
- Design and modify existing hydrogel chemistries to introduce additional features
- Synthesise and characterise PEG-based hydrogels, using standard chemistry and rheology approaches
- Write research manuscripts for publication in high impact journals
- Manage and progress a set of research goals in collaboration with the team leader and external collaborators
- Assist, supervise and train other members of the group, including research students
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
- PhD in biomaterials, bioengineering, biology, biophysics or related field
- Experience with mammalian cell culture, particularly of multicellular constructs
- Experience using chemical synthesis techniques to create biomaterials, hydrogels, or other experience working with hydrogels
- Experience performing mechanical characterization of biomaterials/hydrogels (rheology and/or AFM)
- Experience with fluorescence, confocal or fluorescence lifetime imaging
- Experience performing molecular biology techniques, including qPCR
- Experience performing atomic force microscopy force spectroscopy measurements
- Previous work with human induced pluripotent stem cell and/or organoids
- Experience working with and/or designing novel PEG/peptides chemistries
*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.