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.
- 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
- First degree in biological science (2.1 or above)
- PhD awarded in biological science, pharmaceutical sciences, radiobiology, radionuclide therapy, radionuclide imaging, or radiochemistry
- Hands-on experience in vivo work
- Experience with cancer in vivo models
- Performing in vitro biological assays
- Holds or has held a UK Home Office licence for animal work
- Resourceful, creative and able to act on own initiative
- The ability to take individual responsibility for planning and undertaking own work, according to scientific deadlines
- Ability to organise and prioritise work
- Meticulous attention to detail in experimental design and execution is required
- Engaging in multidisciplinary research projects
- Experience in the labelling of cells with radionuclides
- Experience in working with radiopharmaceuticals
- Strong track record of publications in the field of biology, radiobiology, radiochemistry, molecular imaging
- Presenting results at conferences
If further information is required, please contact Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.