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Postdoctoral Research Associate

London (Central), London (Greater)
£43,205 - £46,732 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Closing date
20 Mar 2024

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Job Details

Job description 

Applications are invited for a 2.5-year Post-Doctoral Research Associate position working on a project funded by Diabetes UK entitled ‘Defining novel regulators of human beta cell specification for transplantation therapy of type 1 diabetes’. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Prof. Shanta Persaud and Dr. Aileen King in the Diabetes Theme within the School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine & Sciences at King’s College London. The project will use information from our spatial transcriptomic analysis of human fetal pancreas development to inducibly overexpress genes in human induced pluripotent stem cells to improve the generation of functional stem cell-derived beta cells. We will then apply our expertise in beta cell/islet biology to carry out functional analyses of stem cell-derived islets in vitro and in vivo. 

The successful candidate will have a PhD in a relevant biomedical sciences subject and have expertise in human stem cell (ES or iPS) differentiation protocols, preferably to beta cells and/or experience of assessment of function of islets of Langerhans. The main responsibilities will be human stem cell culture, lentiviral inducible overexpression of genes in pancreatic endocrine progenitor cells and differentiation to beta cells, configuring stem cell-derived beta cells into functional islet-like structures, assessment of stem cell-derived islet function in vitro (quantification of ATP generation, calcium fluxes, insulin secretion, apoptosis, etc.) and in vivo (maintenance of normoglycaemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice). This post-doctoral associate post will be held within a vibrant islet biology research community at the Guy’s campus of King’s College London. 

Further information about ongoing islet biology research in the Specialism of Diabetes at King’s College London may be found here: Specific queries relating to the post can be directed to

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract, with proposed employment dates of 01/06/2024 - 30/11/2026. 

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


Key responsibilities

  • Undertake laboratory research to achieve the project objectives.
  • Liaise with external collaborators as required.
  • Keep accurate written and electronic records of all work undertaken.
  • Analyse data, carry out statistical analyses and provide supervisors with regular updates.
  • Liaise regularly with the project supervisors to ensure that timelines and milestones are met.
  • Integrate within the wider section of Diabetes at King’s College London.
  • Supervise MSc &BSc students and lab visitors where required.
  • Present work at national and international conferences, and to the Patient and Public Involvement Steering Group.
  • Contribute to writing and submitting manuscripts based on the research carried out.

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 in a relevant biomedical sciences subject.
  2. Post-doctoral research experience in a molecular cell biology discipline.
  3. Human cell culture.
  4. a) Human stem cell differentiation protocols, preferably to beta cells OR b) Isolation and functional analysis of islets of Langerhans or beta cells.
  5. Using mouse models in experimental research (preferably in metabolic studies).
  6. General molecular cell biology techniques, including qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, immunoassays.

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience of islet transplantation into mice.

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

  Further information 

Interviews will be held in March. Candidates will be notified at least 5 days prior to the interview if they have been shortlisted. We would like the successful candidate to start on 01 June 2024.

This post is subject to 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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