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Research Assistant at the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology

London (Greater) (GB)
£37,332 - £42,099 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Closing date
14 Mar 2024

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Job Details

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated Research Assistant (RA) to join a Wellcome Early Career Award-funded project focusing on RNA dysregulation in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The work will be performed in Dr. Laura Andreae’s lab under the guidance of Dr. Flora Lee at the Centre of Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London. The Centre for Developmental Neurobiology and MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders are world-leading centres in the field of developmental neuroscience and brain disorders, situated in central London.    

The post holder will support experimental work towards advancing our understanding of disturbed synaptic RNA localization and local translation in neuronal models of ASD risk gene haploinsufficiency. Key responsibilities including:  

  • Conducting experimental work to identify mechanisms underlying synaptic RNA abnormalities. 
  • Performing primary neuronal cultures, immunolabeling, and confocal imaging of synapse phenotypes. 
  • Contribute to transcriptomic sequencing analyses to decipher regulatory signatures and molecular pathways. 

Candidates should have a degree in biological sciences or similar and previous work experience in a research laboratory. Interest in interdisciplinary research across RNA biology and neurobiology, clear oral and written communication skills, desire to learn new techniques, good time-management and accurate record keeping in a dynamic environment are essential. Knowledge of basic molecular biology is essential. Experience in mouse primary neuronal cell culture is desirable. Prior experience in omics analysis, sequencing and/or RNA-protein biochemistry is desirable.  

This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 12 months.

Key responsibilities

  • Undertake planned experiments and analyse data under the supervision of Dr. Flora Lee and Dr. Laura Andreae   
  • Maintenance of primary neuronal cultures  
  • Immunolabeling, confocal imaging and quantitative analyses of synapse phenotypes. 
  • Preparation of sequencing libraries using in-house protocols for Illumina sequencing and long-read nanopore sequencing 
  • Conducting transcriptomic analyses to decipher regulatory signatures and molecular pathways. 
  • Maintain an up-to-date record of protocols and analysis pipelines to ensure experiments and analyses are reproducible. 
  • Contribute to the dissemination of research findings. 

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.       A degree in biological sciences or a related field. 

2.       Previous experience working in a research laboratory. 

3.       Strong interest in interdisciplinary research across neurobiology and RNA biology. 

4.       Excellent oral and written communication skills. 

5.       Eagerness to learn new techniques. 

6.       Ability to work in a dynamic and collaborative environment with excellent time-management and organization. 

7.       Accurate record-keeping and attention to detail. 

8.       Knowledge of basic molecular biology  

Desirable criteria

1.   Experience with cell culture, in particular mouse primary neuronal cultures. 

2.   Experience with Illumina and long-read sequencing or omics analysis. 

3.   Experience with protein/RNA biochemistry. 

4.   Experience with quantitative statistical analysis of large datasets. 

5.   Experience with confocal imaging or similar and use of imaging analysis software.




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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