This is an exciting opportunity for a Research Assistant 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 interact with the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and trigger release of complement proteins that play a role in leukocyte recruitment, activation and hyperinflammation.
Are you looking to gain extensive research experience before undertaking a PhD? Why not consider a Research Assistant role?
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. 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.
You will have an honours degree (minimum 2:1) or an MSc in a relevant biological science. Some experience in virology combined with cell culture, flow cytometry, biochemical or virological assays is desirable. Previous containment level 3 laboratory experience is an advantage. You will have an interest in tackling fundamental questions regarding viral pathogenesis and inflammation, will work independently with support from the PI while integrated with a wider group of collaborators.
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 12 months
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
• Perform infection of cells with SARS CoV-2 and virus quantification in containment level 3 facilities
• Implement protein biochemistry, 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
1. Masters or bachelor’s degree (minimum 2:1) or equivalent in virology, immunology, or biological sciences
2. Willingness to work with infectious SARS-CoV-2 in containment level 3 laboratory facilities.
3. Knowledge of the procedures relevant to the work including flow cytometry, protein biochemistry and molecular biology
4. Prior laboratory experience in cell culture
5. Willingness to learn new methodologies
6. High experimental proficiency
7. Good organizational and problem-solving skills
8. Ability to prepare data for publication including statistical analysis
9. Proven ability to prioritise, plan ahead and manage a high volume of work to meet deadlines, both prescribed and self-imposed.
10. Self-motivation and the ability to work independently with the support of the PI and a wider research team and collaborators
11. Experience handling containment level 3 viruses
12. Prior laboratory experience handling viruses
13. Experience of protein biochemistry techniques
14. Experience in immunofluorescence or confocal techniques
Further information can be obtained by emailing Professor Linda Klavinskis: email@example.com