Research Assistant

London (Central), London (Greater)
£36,532 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
26 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
27 Oct 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We seek a research assistant (RA) to join Dr Afshan Malik’s lab at the Guy’s campus of KCL. The group’s research is focused on understanding the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and mitochondrial dysfunction in metabolic disease. The post holder will primarily work on the PASGRAS project, funded recently by the EU, entitled “De-risking metabolic, environmental and behavioural determinants of obesity in children, adolescents and young adults”. Dr Malik’s lab at KCL is the UK partner of a group of 16 partners across Europe working on this project, the work at KCL will contribute to specific work packages with clear objectives and timelines. Obesity has become the leading cause of many health complications especially in young people. As part of PASGRAS, we aim to understand the mechanisms and devise prevention strategies with a particular focus on the investigation of mitochondrial dysfunction in obesity using experimental models and clinical samples.

The RA will be expected to undertake the following: MtDNA-CN measurement in samples using qPCR; mammalian cell culture to investigate mitochondrial damage in obesity conditions using a range of cell and molecular biology techniques including RT-qPCR, western blotting, immunostaining; bioenergetics using Seahorse; data interpretation, and presentation.  Full training will be provided but having experience of some of these techniques will be advantageous.

We are looking for someone with a good undergraduate and/or Masters degree in a relevant field (e.g., cell/molecular biology, biochemistry or life/biological sciences) and a strong background in cell and molecular biology as well as experience of working with mammalian cell culture. Experience in contributing to reports and articles for publication is desirable. The post holder will be expected to take part in lab activities (lab meetings, general lab housekeeping), and help train 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 obesity/mitochondria. The work is very likely to lead to publications.

Whilst this post is advertised as Full time, we will consider Part time applicants. Please do apply and specify your Part time hours.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 7th July 2026.

This is a full-time 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 analysis of the data.
  • 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.

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. Good undergraduate and/or Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g. cell/molecular biology, biochemistry or life/biological sciences).
  2. Proven experience of working in a scientific laboratory.
  3. Strong background in Cell/Molecular biology.
  4. Mammalian cell culture and/or qPCR experience. 
  5. Reliable, motivated and hard-working.
  6. Able to plan and prioritise workload and keep clear and well-organised laboratory notes and records.
  7. Good communication and writing skills.

Desirable criteria

  1. Research experience in related field (e.g setting up cellular, molecular and/or biochemical assays, cell imaging etc). 
  2. Experience/interest in mitochondria/obesity/diabetes. 
  3. Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team and undertake share of group tasks. 
  4. Experience of contributing to reports and articles for publication. 


Further information

Should you be looking for a Part time role, please do apply and specify your Part time hours.

Formal Interviews will take place on the 27th and 29th November. Candidates will be notified >5 days prior to the interview if they have been shortlisted. We would like the successful candidate to start the post on 8th January 2024.  

This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.

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