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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biology

London (Central), London (Greater)
£42,405 - £49,785 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Closing date
4 Jan 2024

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Job Details

Job description

This postdoctoral role is a great position with which to apply biological in vivo skills to several questions relating to novel cell-based anti-cancer therapies and understanding how immune cells migrate through the body. It is funded by the EPSRC Research Programme on Next Generation of Molecular Imaging and Therapy with Radionuclides ( MITHRAS) and aims to study the biological effects within a variety of cells, e.g. T cells and stem cells, labelled with radioactive radionuclides and to quantify the minimum level of radioactive cells administered into animals that can still be picked up by non-invasive imaging using preclinical positron emission tomography (PET).

This project sits within the context of the increasing likelihood of availability to total body PET, which will have huge implications for tracking of cell-based therapies in particular. Total body PET would allow cell labelling with up to 40-fold lower activities and could also enable more long-term imaging. The main limitation for PET in cell tracking is a concern that radionuclides impart high radiation doses to the labelled cells, with unknown effects on their behaviour, e.g. do they survive; at what level do they survive and do they remain unaltered? This project would enable us to ascertain maximum radiolabelling limits within these cells for a range of PET radionuclides and determine the benefits of reducing radioactivity loading of tracked cells achievable in total body PET.

The experimental work is based around preclinical in vivo work, molecular biology, and in vitro cell studies. The candidate will get the opportunity to expand their skills in radiochemistry, radiobiology, and PET/CT imaging. In this post, the successful candidate will work closely with Drs Terry and Torres, as well as collaborate with other members of the Department of Imaging Chemistry and Biology and scientists at external institutions and universities.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a vibrant multidisciplinary research group within one of the premier biomedical imaging centres in Europe with access to state-of-the-art synthetic and radiochemistry facilities. The Department of Imaging Chemistry and Biology is part of the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences which has a vast array of small animal and clinical imaging modalities, supported by the cutting-edge equipment and core facilities at King’s. Finally, we are dedicated to supporting the successful candidate’s career through assistance with Fellowship applications, networking events, and conference attendance.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 12 months (not exceeding 31 March 2025).

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

Key responsibilities

  • To plan and conduct high-quality research in the in vitro and in vivo biological characterization of a range of cells labelled with radioactive PET radionuclides, including 89Zr.
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of experimental work.
  • To draft scientific presentations and publications.
  • To attend all research group and wider Departmental group meetings, as directed by the PI.
  • In consultation with the PI, to contribute to the training of junior staff.
  • To work with, and maintain, close ties between ICAB Principal Investigators.
  • Pro-actively contribute to the team ethos of the School and Centre by collaborating with and offering support to other team members and groups and the laboratory management team and accepting support from them.
  • Assist in maintaining good laboratory discipline and safety practices and set a professional example to others.
  • Take responsibility as part of the team for maintaining specific items of equipment and training others in their use.
  • General lab management, commensurate with the grade.
  • The possibility to participate in public engagement activities.
  • The possibility to teach.

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. First degree in biological science (2.1 or above)
  2. PhD awarded in biological science, pharmaceutical sciences, radiobiology, radionuclide therapy, radionuclide imaging, or radiochemistry
  3. Hands-on experience in vivo work
  4. Experience with cancer in vivo models
  5. Performing in vitro biological assays
  6. Holds or has held a UK Home Office licence for animal work
  7. Resourceful, creative and able to act on own initiative
  8. The ability to take individual responsibility for planning and undertaking own work, according to scientific deadlines
  9. Ability to organise and prioritise work
  10. Meticulous attention to detail in experimental design and execution is required

Desirable criteria

  1. Engaging in multidisciplinary research projects
  2. Experience in the labelling of cells with radionuclides
  3. Experience in working with radiopharmaceuticals
  4. Strong track record of publications in the field of biology, radiobiology, radiochemistry, molecular imaging
  5. Presenting results at conferences

Further information

If further information is required, please contact

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.


King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 27,600 students (of whom nearly 10,500 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 6,800 staff.

King's has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £684 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:

King’s £600 million campaign, World questions|KING’s answers, has delivered huge global impact in areas where King’s has particular expertise. Philanthropic support has funded new research to save young lives at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; established the King’s Dickson Poon School of Law as a worldwide leader in transnational law; built a new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital; allowed unique collaboration between leading neuroscientists to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, depression and schizophrenia at the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; created the Cicely Saunders Institute: the first academic institution in the world dedicated to palliative care, and supported the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership in the Ebola crisis. Donations provide over 300 of the most promising students with scholarships and bursaries each year. More information about the campaign is available at

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