Research Assistant - Cellular Generation and Phenotyping

Salary range: £20,000 to £23,612 plus excellent benefits

We are seeking two self-motivated, proactive individuals, to support the Cellular Generation and Phenotyping team (CGaP) here at the Sanger. As the successful candidate, you will help to deliver one of our projects, in particular touching iPSC derivation or whole genome CRISPR screening. You will also help maintain the department and laboratories.

  • iPSC derivation: Working on iPSC derivation in our facility, you will reprogram patient’s samples (either skin biopsies or blood) into iPSC using the Sendai virus as a vector to deliver the reprogramming genes. You will then culture the cells on a layer of feeders before transferring them to feeder-free substrates and bank them. You will test cells for any remnant of virus by RT-qPCR and run additional assays (e.g. differentiation into the three embryonic germ layers) to test the quality of the iPSC produced.

Techniques involved include: Isolation of PBMC from blood and differentiation toward erythroblast lineage, isolation/culture of fibroblasts from skin biopsies, reprogramming using Sendai virus, iPSC colony-picking, feeder-dependent and feeder-free iPSC culture, RT-qPCR, immunocytochemistry.

  • CRISPR IPSC whole genome CRISPR-Cas9 screens: The aim of this project is to perform whole genome drop out screens in iPSC lines to identify genes essential to cell survival. To do this you will use lentiviral transduction to produce stably expressing Cas9 lines which you will then screen with a whole genome guideRNA library targeting most of the genes in the human genome. The screened cells are analysed to identify guides which targets genes essential to cell survival.

Techniques involved include, culture and expansion of iPSC cells, production of lentiviral stocks, transduction of iPSC lines and flow cytometry.

The Cellular Generation and Phenotyping Core Facility (CGaP) is responsible for developing and delivering complex and large scale cell biology projects to support the scientific programs at the Sanger Institute.  The current portfolio of projects includes the generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and organoid lines, the differentiation and characterisation of the iPSC lines and the running of large scale CRISPR screens in cancer cell lines. More recently the department has embarked on projects working with malaria parasites, multi-drug resistant bacteria and the Human Cell Atlas project.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Degree in Biological Sciences, or equivalent qualification
  • Experience in a life science laboratory
  • Good knowledge of cell culture techniques
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills, able to plan and prioritise effectively
  • Proven experience of working within a team
  • Ability to keep good up-to-date records with attention to detail

Ideal Skills

  • Experience of working with stem cell lines
  • Experience of running cell based assays

Other information

Closing date: 22nd July 2018

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world leader of genomic discovery and revolution committed to training the next generation of genomic scientists. It brings together a diverse and exceptional scientific community, devoted to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to pursue some of humanity’s greatest healthcare challenges.

The Sanger Institute, in the village of Hinxton and about 10 miles south of Cambridge is set on a beautiful and active campus. Onsite restaurants and cafes serve high quality food and drinks including a free drinks and nibbles event every month to celebrate payday. Gym and sports facilities are also available for a nominal fee and the large rural campus is free to explore. Free staff buses and shuttles are provided, for travel to and from work every day from nearby train stations, Cambridge, Saffron Walden and the surrounding villages

Our BenefitsOur 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 and Campus Nursery
  • 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 dedication to gender equality and promoting women’s careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. We will consider all qualified 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.