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Senior/ Advanced Research Assistant

Salary in the region of £33,599 - £40,655 (Grade 2) or £26,693 - £32,299 (Grade 3) dependent on skills and experience, plus excellent benefits

1 year fixed term contract

A Senior Research Assistant/ Advanced Research Assistant position is available at the Wellcome Sanger Institute under the leadership of Dr Martin Hemberg. The faculty research focuses on understanding gene expression at the single-cell level with novel computational and experimental methods. The research assistant will work closely with a senior scientist in the group to collect single cells from frozen brain tissue using laser capture microdissection for whole transcriptome sequencing (scRNA-Seq).  Our goal is to identify novel cell-type specific mediators of brain development and how this is impaired in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

This is an exciting opportunity for you to implement, develop, and assist existing and novel protocols for single-cell collection and RNA-Sequencing from fresh frozen brain tissue. You will independently carry out both routine and more specialized laboratory protocols and procedures as required in a consistently efficient, accurate and precise manner. You will have responsibility for day-to-day operation of the laboratory, ordering supplies, coordinating with administration, resolving minor issues and coordinating scheduling/planning of work with others using core facilities.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about computational analysis of single cell RNA sequencing through the weekly group meetings.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Degree(s) in Biological Sciences, or equivalent qualification 
  • Prior experience in scientific research with record of excellent laboratory practice
  • In depth working knowledge of molecular biology techniques and a range of practical techniques (including pipetting) 
  • Experience working in sterile, RNAse- or DNA-free conditions 
  • Experience with and/or knowledge of cutting frozen tissue sections on a cryostat OR laser capture microdissection or single-cell sequencing technologies
  • Experience in neuroscience research OR experience with and/or knowledge of protocols relevant to genomics of gene expression and gene regulation including RNA-Seq 
  • Ability to work independently and within a group and to be able to recognise when to seek help 
  • Reliable, highly conscientious 
  • Enthusiasm for neuroscience and/or genomic research, highly motivated and committed to project goals 
  • Observant, careful, and methodical in laboratory practices 
  • Good written and oral communication skills 
  • Ability to keep good up-to-date records 
  • Good sample management; tracking, labelling and storage of samples 
  • Ability to test and implement new approaches and techniques 
  • Ability to work to a schedule and efficiently manage time 
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills 
  • Computer literate 

We will be collecting samples for single-cell RNA-Seq via two methods.  For one method, the collection will occur using specialized equipment at the University’s Downing site (central Cambridge).  Thus, there will be days (<10% of the time), which will require working in central Cambridge.

Other information

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre and committed to training the next generation of genome scientists. Focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease and a world leader in the genomic revolution, our mission is to use genome sequences to advance understanding of human and pathogen biology in order to improve human health. We aim to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens. Our science is large-scale and organised into Programmes, led by our Faculty who conceive and deliver our science, and supported by our Scientific Operations teams responsible for all data production pipelines at the Institute. 

Our Campus: Set over 125 acres, the stunning and dynamic Wellcome Genome Campus is the biggest aggregate concentration of people in the world working on the common theme of Genomes and BioData. It brings together a diverse and exceptional scientific community, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to pursue some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Our Benefits: Our employees have access to a comprehensive range of benefits and facilities including:

  • Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme and Life Assurance
  • Group Income Protection
  • Private Health Insurance
  • 25 days annual leave, increasing by one day a year to a maximum of 30
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, a childcare voucher scheme, Campus Nursery and Summer holiday club
  • Two days paid Employee Volunteering Leave a year
  • Employee Discount Scheme
  • Campus Gym, tennis courts, cricket pitch and sports hall plus a range of dining facilities
  • Active Campus Sports and Social Club
  • Free Campus Bus Service

Genome Research Limited is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We will consider all applicants without discrimination on grounds of disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law. We are open to a range of flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.  Closing date: 13th July 2018  - applications will be considered and reviewed on a rolling basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.