Research Associate - Basic and Medical Biosciences

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,826 - £39,882 per annum, (Sp. 32) including London Weighting Allowance
07 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
28 Oct 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 Watt lab. At the Centre for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine at King’s College, London. One is to explore cell fate decisions in human epidermis and the other is to contribute to the development of an autologous fibroblast therapy for scarring. Both positions are for one year in the first instance. The postdoc studying cell fate decisions will have the opportunity to spend time at the EMBL in Heidelberg. The postdoc studying fibroblasts may have the opportunity to transition into a London-based startup.  

Cell fate decisions

A major focus of Professor Watt’s current research is regulation of cell fate decisions in adult mammalian epidermis. A postdoctoral position is available to study the dynamics of exit from the stem cell compartment via live cell imaging of FRET sensors in vivo and in culture. The goal of the work is to integrate single cell RNA sequencing data with mechanistic experiments. The following references provide examples of the approaches used in the lab. 

Zijl, S., et al (2019) Acta Biomaterialia 84:133-145. DOI:10.1016/j.actbio.2018.12.003. PMID: 30528608. 

Negri, V.A., et al 2019) Scientific Reports 9:10825. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47232-2. PMID: 31346203. 

Hiratsuka, T., et al (2020) Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 117:17796-17807. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2006965117. PMID: 32651268.  

Reynolds, G., et al (2021) Science 371(6527):eaba6500. doi: 10.1126/science.aba6500.PMID: 33479125.

Fibroblast therapies

Previous studies in mouse and human skin point to the existence of subpopulations of fibroblasts with different functions. Our concept is that certain subpopulations of fibroblasts could resolve scarring following injection into patients. A postdoctoral position is available to develop technologies and characterisation tools with a view to progressing to safety studies in humans. The following references provide some background to the project. 

Driskell, R.R., et al (2013) Nature 504: 277–281. doi:10.1038/nature12783. PMID: 24336287. 

Philippeos, C., et al (2018) J. Invest. Dermatol. 138:811-825. PMID: 29391249. 

Rognoni, E., et al (2018) Mol. Syst. Biol. 14: e8174. DOI 10.15252/msb.20178174. PMID: 30158243. 

Culley, O.J., et al (2021) Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Apr 6;9:628039. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.628039 .PMID: 33889572.  

The posts will be offered on an a fixed-term contract until 30 Nov 2022 in the first instance 

Full-time posts - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

•       Undertake cutting edge biomedical research of the highest standard  

•       Manage the progress and set goals for achievement of project aims in collaboration with Professor Watt including the execution of literature reviews, data collection and analysis 

•       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 reviewed journals  

•       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 n
  2. ear completion) in Biological Sciences or related discipline
  3. Expertise in cell culture 
  4. General web-lab skills including molecular biology
  5. Excellent communication (oral and written) skills 
  6. Self-motivated, with the ability to work under pressure & to meet deadlines 
  7. Working and designing experiments independently, excellent record keeping 
  8. Able to supervise, work and integrate with others in the laboratory

  Desirable criteria

  1. Expertise in imaging acquisition and analysis (confocal, multiphoton) 
  2. Knowledge of skin biology
  3. Experience in single-cell RNASeq analysis
  4. Strong computing skills: programming skills, competence in the use of imaging analysis software (Image J, Imaris, MATLAB, machine learning)  

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).

Similar jobs

Similar jobs