KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

Research Associate

Location
London (Greater) (GB)
Salary
Grade 6, £38,304 -£39,345 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Posted
13 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
13 Oct 2022
Ref
032705
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity for a Postdoc with experience in virological and immunological methods to study the role of secreted pattern recognition molecules (PRM) in the resistance to and pathogenesis of severe COVID-19. We have novel data that PRMs of the complement pathway (lectin-binding proteins) interact with the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and trigger release of complement proteins that play a role in leukocyte recruitment, activation and hyperinflammation.  

 

The purpose of this position is to use SARS CoV-2 virus alveolar epithelial cell infection models to study cell autonomous production of PRMs and complement proteins, their activation, and the consequences of their cell membrane deposition. This will involve biochemical and molecular techniques combined with high-content imaging and analysis. A translational strand will investigate therapeutic approaches to block the ability of the PRM’s to engage glycans on virus-infected cells and inhibit lectin complement pathway activation. This will be further tested through collaboration using the hamster SARS CoV-2 infection model.  

 

The post holder will have a strong background in virology/viral-immunology combined with expertise in cell culture, flow cytometry, biochemical and virological assays. Previous CL3 experience is an advantage. They will have an interest in tackling fundamental questions regarding viral pathogenesis and inflammation, will work independently while integrated with a wider group of collaborators. We will actively support postdoctoral fellowship applications to outside funding organisations.   

 

The position is available immediately in the laboratory of Professor Linda Klavinskis, Department of Infectious Diseases, School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine on the Guy’s campus site.  

 

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 18 months 

This a full-time post –100% full time equivalent 

This post will be offered on  a fixed-term contract for 18 months 

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

 

Key responsibilities

• Perform infection of cells with SARS CoV-2 and virus quantification in containment level 3 facilities  

• Implement protein biochemistry, Lentivirus-CRISPR-cas9, flow cytometry and high content immunofluorescence / confocal approaches to study PRM ‘sensing’ of SARS CoV2 and impact on innate and adaptive immunity 

• Preparation of RNA and DNA from cell samples to understand the host response to SARS CoV-2 and other emerging infectious disease pathogens 

• Processing of human blood and isolation of PBMCs to address if the hyperinflammatory response induced by viral infection is orchestrated by activated complement proteins acting on PBMCs 

• Organisation and record keeping  

• Maintenance of resources and reagents 

• Supervision of laboratory projects of students in the laboratory 

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 or equivalent in virology or viral immunology 

2. Experience in cell culture and handling viruses 

3. Willingness to work with infectious SARS-CoV-2 in CL3 facilities. 

4. Experience in flow cytometry, protein biochemistry and molecular biology 

5. Experience in immunofluorescence / confocal techniques  

6. Willingness to learn new methodologies 

7. High experimental proficiency 

8. Good organizational and problem solving skills  

9. Ability to prepare data for publication including statistical analysis 

10. Self-motivation and the ability to work independently with the support of a wider research team and collaborators 

Desirable criteria

1. Experience handling containment level 3 viruses 

2. Experience of PBMC isolation and culture 

3. Experience of performing bioinformatic analysis  

 

* 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

Further information can be obtained by emailing Professor Linda Klavinskis, linda.klavinskis@kcl.ac.uk 

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance. 

COVID-19, innate immunity, SARS-COV-2

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