Research Associate

London (Greater)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
15 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
30 Nov 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We seek a postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) to join Dr Afshan Malik’s lab within the Department of Diabetes at the Guy’s campus of KCL. The group’s research is focused on understanding the role of mitochondrial DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction in metabolic disease. The post holder will be primarily responsible for working on a project funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK which aims to understand how mitochondria are impacted in diabetic and non-diabetic Alzheimer’s disease. The work will utilise specific regions of human post-mortem brain from Alzheimer’s disease and control donors, with and without diabetes. Disease associated changes in mtDNA copy number, mtDNA heteroplasmy, transcription of mitochondrial genes and cell type changes will be determined. The techniques utilised will include qPCR, quadruple immunofluorescence and next generation sequencing data generation and analysis.


The postholder will be required to plan, carry out and complete the proposed work, undertake data and statistical analysis, and assist in writing of and submission of manuscripts and present the work at national and international conferences.  We are looking for someone that can be independent as well as engaged in our group. The post holder will be expected to fully engage in lab activities (lab meetings, general lab housekeeping), and help to co-supervise students and junior lab members.  This post is suitable for an ambitious early-stage researcher with proven relevant experience, good collaborative skills and an interest in one or more of the key areas of mitochondrial/neurodegeneration and diabetes research. Applicants need to be available to start as soon as possible.


This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 3 years


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


Key responsibilities

• Liaise with Dr Afshan Malik on a regular basis to plan, design and undertake the proposed work with agreed timelines and milestones.

• To take responsibility for requesting, receiving, storage, usage, maintenance and return of clinical samples and maintain accurate and up to date databases relating to clinical samples

• Be responsible for refining and implementing the relevant research protocols required to meet the aims of the project.

• Keep accurate written and electronic records of all work undertaken.

• Interact and liaise with the collaborators on the project as needed.

• To undertake statistical and bioinformatic analysis of the data  and the completion of the project.

• Assist in writing and submitting manuscripts relating to the work.

• To share general laboratory duties (such as ordering and preparation of reagents) and participate in laboratory and research meetings as appropriate.

• To contribute to the overall activity of the research team as required.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  1. BSc and PhD in relevant subjects
  2. Experience in Molecular biology,
  3. Experience with qPCR
  4. Experienced in Statistical analysis
  5. Highly motivated and technically competent.
  6. Computer literate able to use MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  7. Good communication and organizational skills
  8. Good team worker
  9. Able to work independently

Desirable criteria 

  1. Experience in next generation sequencing,
  2. Lab experience in immunofluoresence.
  3. Interest and experience in the field of diabetic complications and/or Alzheimer’s disease
  4. Experience in mitochondrial research, especially mtDNA.
  5. Experience in analysis of next generation sequencing data, including variant calling and expression analysis
  6. Experience in manuscript writing and publishing papers

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

Interviews will be held on 13th or 15th December 2021.


For further information on the lab and department you would be working with please see the following: 


Part of the work will be carried out in Newcastle under a collaboration with Dr Amy Reeves.


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


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