Research Assistant

London (Greater)
Grade 5: £34,502-£36,348 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
15 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
11 Apr 2023
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description


This is an exciting opportunity to work on genomics of the origins of myeloid blood cancers in the Haematology section of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre/ School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences at King’s College London.  Myeloid blood cancers such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are incurable in most cases.  Recently, Clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) has been identified as a potential point of origin, and significant risk factor for MDS and AML.  CHIP is where individuals acquire mutations in blood cells without apparent blood disease, and these mutations evolve over time to drive cancer. 


This project examines CHIP in primary patient samples (blood and bone marrow), and studies how mutations in haematopoietic cells may give rise to blood cancer.  We aim to identify and target novel pathways that lead to MDS and AML so that we can translate new treatments to patients to prevent disease progression.  The successful applicant will gain expertise in handling primary patient samples and perform flow cytometry.  The postholder will also become experts in state of the art genomic techniques including making next generation sequencing libraries and single cell multi-omics.   


We are seeking a motivated, skilled, and enthusiastic candidate to join our research team. The successful applicant will be expected to develop and undertake research of high quality consistent with the aims of the project. Excellent organisation, team working, communication and numeracy skills are essential.  A desire and aptitude for computational data analysis (training will be provided) will be an advantage. 


We are especially interested in helping promising researchers develop their career and encourage applications from those who see this post as a launchpad for their scientific ambitions. 


This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 26th July 2024 with the possibility of an extension.   

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


Key responsibilities

•        Liaise with other team members, research nurses and biobank staff to co-ordinate sample collection and transfers.  

•        Perform nucleic acid extraction, generate next generation sequencing libraries for a genotyping panel and arrange for sequencing with an external provider. 

•        Perform variant calling to identify mutations in patient samples and enter these data accurately into a study database. 

•        Perform flow cytometric analysis of blood and bone marrow samples, including cell sorting. 

•        Perform tissue culture of primary haematopoietic cells and cell lines. 

•        Use and help co-ordinate maintenance of specialist scientific equipment in a laboratory environment. 

•        Keep detailed and accurate laboratory work records (e.g. in an electronic lab book). 

•        Understand and respect data governance guidance, especially in the handling of patient data. 

•        Present data at regular group meetings. 

•        Support the training of undergraduate and postgraduate project students.  

•        Interact scientifically with other members of the group, departmental colleagues, and collaborators. Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars. 

•        Facilitate collaboration and networking which engages and supports the activities of the project. 

•        Contribute to the preparation of manuscripts for journal publication.  

•        Plan own day-to-day research and administrative activities within the framework of the agreed research objectives and milestones. 


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.      Bachelor degree in a relevant biological sciences project. 

2.      Have experience of working in a laboratory environment 

3.      Knowledge of cell culture, basic molecular biology (PCR, qPCR) and cell separation techniques, next generation sequencing technologies, genetics and basic concepts in blood cancers. 

4.      Demonstrate evidence of good numerical and reasoning skills, expertise in basic IT (Word/ Excel/ Powerpoint) and data analysis tools 

5.      Possess scientific integrity and understanding of the importance of study design, power calculations and statistical analysis. 

6.      Good written presentation skills, communication skills (written & verbal), and IT skills. 

7.      Ability to work independently and integrate with colleagues, work as part of a team, and undertake a share of group tasks. 

8.      Able to carry out know/learnt techniques unsupervised, and flexible/able to change in current professional context. 

9.      Proven ability to manage own research and administrative activities efficiently, prioritise, meet targets and deadlines, and keep clear and well organised laboratory notes and records. 

10.  Evidence of self-motivated learning and commitment to continuing personal and professional development. 


Desirable criteria

1.      Experience in tissue culture or handling of primary patient samples, basic molecular biology techniques (PCR, qPCR), preparation of NGS libraries amd Illumina NGS platforms. 

2.      Experience of wet lab workflows for bulk and single cell RNA sequencing, amd flow cytometry cell sorting. 

3.      Experience in contributing to publications/ presentations (posters, talks). 


Further information

We would like the successful candidate to start as soon as possible after the job offer (latest 1/6/2023).  


Planned interview dates: Early-mid April

Similar jobs

Similar jobs