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Research Assistant

Belfast, Northern Ireland
£32,024 per annum
Closing date
4 Mar 2024

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Application closing date: 04/03/2024
Salary: £32,024 per annum
Job category/type: Research

The School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences (MDBS) at Queen’s University Belfast, is currently seeking to appoint an exceptional candidate to the post of Research Assistant.

The Microbial Biochemistry and Pathogenesis group of Professor Valvano, in the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, is looking for an ambitious, highly productive individual with an interest and demonstrated research skills on developing cellular models of bacterial infection in macrophages and lung epithelial cells. The candidate will be involved in ongoing and planned research aiming to understand the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of lung opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria.

The post holder will apply specialized imaging, molecular microbiology, and cellular biology techniques to examine the course of infection in primary immune and non-immune (e.g., macrophages and epithelial) cells.

Applications are invited from individuals with combined expertise in microbiology, microbial genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology, and a strongly demonstrated commitment to research. Examples include recent research experience in cell culture, handling of fastidious Gram-negative pathogenic, single-cell transcriptomics, advanced confocal microscopy cellular imaging, and imaging modelling coupled to tri-dimensional cell image reconstruction techniques.

The successful candidate must have, and your application should clearly demonstrate that you meet the following criteria: 

  • A Degree in Microbiology, Immunology, Genetics or Cell Biology
  • Demonstrated experience in culturing primary human macrophages and primary epithelial cells, especially using the air-liquid interface techniques.
  • Recent experience with infection quantification in cells and confocal fluorescent imaging methods using live or fixed samples, relevant to the project.
  • Recent experience with identification by confocal fluorescence microscopy imaging of intracellular compartments/organelles and associated bacteria.
  • Demonstrated experience in in silico imaging modelling and tri-dimensional cell image reconstruction techniques.
  • Recent research experience in state-of-the-art molecular (e.g. cloning using Gibson ligation) and cellular (bacterial infections in eukaryotic cells) microbiology, cell culture, and cellular and molecular imaging techniques including super-resolution microscopy.
  • Prior experience in handling Gram-negative bacterial pathogens relevant to the project.
  • Prior experience in extracting mRNA and processing for single-cell transcriptomic analyses.

Please note the above are not an exhaustive list. For further information about the role including the essential and desirable criteria, click on the 'Candidate Information' link below.

This post is available on a fixed term contract for 31 months. Fixed term contract posts are available for the stated period in the first instance but in particular circumstances may be renewed or made permanent subject to availability of funding.

At Queen’s our people are at the heart of everything we do. As a staff member you will become part of a vibrant organisational culture, which will provide you with the opportunity to achieve your full potential and enhance your career through a continuous focus on learning and development.

We offer an excellent employment package that includes:

  • Great terms & conditions
  • Pension schemes
  • Family-friendly initiatives
  • Career development opportunities
  • Support for health & mental wellbeing
  • Generous holiday entitlement of 8.4 weeks a year (made up of 23 days annual leave, 10 closure days and 9 bank holidays)

Queen’s University is committed to promoting equality of opportunity to all. We have created an inclusive culture by establishing staff networks such as iRise (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and International Staff Network) and PRISM (LGBTQ+) which help us progress equality.

We also subscribe to Equality Charter Marks such as the Diversity Charter Mark NI in addition to Athena Swan. For further information on our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, please visit: and

Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr Julia Monjaras Feria at

Candidate Information
Attractive reward package
About the Institute
Further information for international applicants

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