Postdoctoral Research Associate - Microbiome and Immune Marker Analyses
This post provides an exciting opportunity to become part of the analysis team of the AIMS-2-TRIALS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP). LEAP is the first European longitudinal multi-site, multi-disciplinary brain imaging and behaviour project in over 700 individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions, typical development or mild intellectual disability. The overarching goal of LEAP is to identify biomarkers that help us to create individual profiles for each autistic person to tailor different therapies to different needs and predict a person’s developmental outcome.
The successful candidate will work under the direction of Dr Eva Loth and Prof Declan Murphy at King’s College London. The purpose of this role is to lead on immune marker, microbiome and/ or genetic analyses and link these markers to measures of brain development and/ or function, as well as cognitive and clinical features.
LEAP was created as part of the EU-AIMS Consortium in 2014 and is being continued under the auspices of AIMS-2-TRIALS https://www.aims-2-trials.eu/. Participants were first recruited between at the age of 6-30 years from 2014-2016. They were followed up a second time between 2016 and 2018. From October 2021 the cohort is being reassessed a third time. At each time point, the study involves comprehensive clinical characterisation of each participant, including clinical observations and a range of parent/ self-report questionnaires to measure core and associated mental health features, or quality of life, cognitive assessments, eye-tracking, EEG assessments, neuroimaging (structural and functional MRI) . At wave 2 and 3, collection of biosamples for microbiome and neuroinflammatory analyses were included, and assessment of life events and stressful experiences that may impact developmental changes.
The post is ideally suited to someone with a keen interest in neurodevelopmental research, and experience of working with individuals with autism or related neurodevelopmental conditions.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 1 year [until 31/05/2023 the end of AIMS-2-TRIALS]
This is a full-time post.
- To lead on one area of research of the postholder’s choosing, which should include either immune marker and/ or microbiome analyses, and link to clinical, neuroimaging and/ or genetic analyses
- To conduct relevant QC procedures and provide detailed documentation
- To prepare manuscripts for publication
- To disseminate work at national/ international conferences and AIMS-2-TRIALS meetings
- To participate in internal in-person and virtual meetings
1. PhD in Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Child Health or related discipline
2. Advanced knowledge of autism and/ or related neurodevelopmental conditions;
3. Experience in genetic, immune marker and/ or microbiome analyses
4. Prior experience with carrying out multidisciplinary and/ or longitudinal research;
5. Experience with multi-variate analyses and “subgrouping” methods
1. Experience with clinical measures used in autism research
2. Experience working with autistic individuals
3. Experience with cognitive or neuroimaging analysis methods