Post Doctoral Research Associate

London (Greater)
Grade 6: £40,386 - £47,414 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance, depending upon experienc
16 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
13 Apr 2023
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

Applications are invited for an enthusiastic and motivated Post-Doctoral Research Associate to join the laboratory of Dr Jacqui Shields based at the KCL Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and part of the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Shields Lab focuses on detangling immune suppressive networks within the tumour microenvironment and associated tumour draining lymph nodes. We have the ultimate aim of using the knowledge gained to develop new approaches to detect or treat cancer earlier, and improve patient outcome  


The project: 

Tumour-associated lymphatic vessels drain material away from tumours. The fluid, or lymph, they carry is rich in products excreted by tumours and trafficking immune cells and is sufficient to induce profound changes within lymph nodes.  


Collection of a blood liquid biopsy can be used to detect prognostic, and theranostic biomarkers including circulating tumour cells, proteins and cell-free DNA. However, at early stages of disease the concentration of circulating biomarkers is often very low. In contrast, lymph is transported directly to the sentinel LN before eventually reaching the blood, and may contain higher concentrations of tumour-derived biomarkers. Thus, lymph and the lymph nodes they bathe represent a largely unexplored and potentially rich source of molecular and cellular biomarkers to aid diagnosis and progression risk. 


The successful candidate will drive an exciting CRUK funded project to evaluate lymphatic cargo and breast cancer-draining lymph nodes as a means to recognize molecular and cellular adaptations instigated in early stages of cancer as tumours develop. In these studies, you will utilize preclinical tumour models, high dimensional techniques including single cell genomics, mass spectrometry and mass cytometry, alongside complementary state of the art imaging platforms.


Candidates should have (or be close to finishing) a PhD in cancer immunology or related field.


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

•        Design and conduct experiments as part of a high quality research work programme   

•        Work closely with the project lead and other stakeholders to refine project outputs 

•        Maintain accurate and up to date research records 

•        Prepare and present findings to diverse audiences including group meetings, internal seminars, collaborators and external meetings.

•        Keep abreast with relevant literature, and contribute to drafting of papers and reports relating to the project

•        Assist with training and informal supervision of students as required 

•        Comply with health and safety regulations and promote a safe working environment

•        Assist in the preparation of project-related manuscripts, proposals and applications to external bodies, e.g. for funding


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 be close to finishing) in cancer immunology or related subject 

2.      Strong track record in cancer, immunology or stromal biology  

3.      Hold a Home Office personal license (or have passed personal licensee modules 1-4) 

4.      Demonstrated experience of in vivo work 

5.      Demonstrated experience of laboratory techniques including tissue culture, immune cell isolation and functional assays, Multi-parameter flow cytometry  

6.      Good time management, organization skills and ability to prioritize work  

7.      Excellent communication skills, including analysis and presentation of data to different stakeholders 

8.      Ability to interact well with colleagues and work as part of a team 

9.      Willing to take a role in the supervision of Research Students  


Desirable criteria

1.      Experience with mass spectrometry or mass cytometry  

2.      Experience of single cell sequencing and equivalent large data set analysis  

3.      Experience of multiplexed imaging techniques and associated image analysis

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