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Advanced Research Assistant-Immune Cell Biology

Salary £24,589 to £30,995 plus excellent benefits. 

Fixed term for 3 years.

The Barrett and Anderson groups at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI) use cutting-edge statistical methods to identify genetic associations to diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. An advanced research assistant position is available under the leadership of Drs Rebecca McIntyre, Carl Anderson and Jeffrey Barrett. This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to assist in the application of the latest technology in cell biology, including induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC), organoids and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, to funtionally validate sequence variants and regulatory regions associated with predisposition to pathological immune responses. Once validated with cell lines, we will perform ex-vivo assays using primary immune cells obtained from individuals carrying the genetic variants of interest. The goal of the project is to identify novel, potential therapeutic targets for immune-mediated diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease.

Specifically, the post-holder will perform CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genetic engineering of immune cell lines and IPSC. They will differentiate IPSC to relevant cell types and intestinal organoids, and  determine the functional significance of genetic variants using appropriate cellular assays and standard molecular biological techniques. The post-holder will develop and optimise ex-vivo primary human immune cell assays.  We welcome candidates with a background in cell biology, molecular biology and/or immunology with experience in cell assay development. Experience in ex-vivo primary cell assays, human IPSC, organoids and flow cytometry are highly desirable. The candidate will have the opportunity to interact with other computational and experimental research teams at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Graduate qualification in Biological Sciences, or equivalent qualification
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture and cellular assays
  • Experience of core molecular and cell biology techniques
  • Excellent organisational, communication skills and work ethic
  • Ability to independently develop, optimise and deploy research support, as a member of a closely collaborative team

Ideal Skills

  • Experience with CRISPR-Cas genome engineering 
  • A background in immunology and practical experience in human immune cells assays 
  • Experience in handling and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells 
  • Experience of high-throughput genomics 

Other information

The Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. We use state of the art large-scale genomic approaches to drive world-leading projects to uncover the basis of genetic and infectious disease. Our goal is to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

The Institute is located near Cambridge, UK on the stunning Wellcome Genome Campus. This growing and dynamic site is the British hub of genomic science. It hosts the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Open Targets, a Biodata Innovation Centre and will soon host Genomics England Limited’s 100,000 Genomes Sequencing Centre. The Campus is also home to Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science. Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation and supports learning by drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Campus. Its mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society.

To help researchers to develop their skills and networks, the Institute hosts a range of scientific seminars with internal and invited speakers, scientific group meetings and skills development workshops.

Our Benefits include: Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, Group Income Protection, Healthcare scheme, Childcare Vouchers, Workplace Nursery and 25 days Annual Leave, increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30, plus Bank Holidays. We also have a gym, two cafes, dining facilities, and a free campus bus service. Our thriving Sports and Social Club provides many opportunities to meet with people working across the campus.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.  

Closing date for applications: 25th July 2017, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.

Interviews will be held early August.