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Senior Research Assistant - Cellular Generation and Phenotyping

Salary range: £33,935 to £41,062 per annum, plus benefits package

A rare opportunity has arisen for a histologist to support the Cellular Generation and Phenotyping team (CGaP) here at the Sanger. You will be working collaboratively to implement, utilise emerging technologies such as Spatial Transcriptomics (ST) and RNAScope for the Human Cell Atlas project and the wider institute.

  • Do you thrive in a multi-disciplinary team, working together to solve complex process issues?
  • Do you have experience in cryosectioning and paraffin sectioning of human tissue samples and primary tissue processing?
  • Do you have experience of fluorescent staining and imaging?
  • Have you ever worked in a R&D, high throughput or process driven setting?

If you said yes to the above questions, then this could be the job for you.

We are a core facility, responsible for providing cell biology resource and expertise to the wider institute. We do this by running multiple, diverse, high throughput projects for various faculty teams from across the Sanger Institute. Our current portfolio of projects includes the Human Cell Atlas, genome wide CRISPR screens, iPSC derivation and differentiation, organoid derivation and the generation of Plasmodium mutants. We are expanding our portfolio to include ST and RNAScope which require preparation of tissues for staining and imaging. We work closely as a team of Senior Scientific Managers, Research Assistants and Faculty members to successfully deliver large scale projects.

You will join a multi-disciplinary team in setting up a Spatial processing and imaging pipeline to be used for a variety of projects across the institute. Your knowledge, skills and experience of histology will be used to prepare and analyse tissue sections for gene expression markers using methods such as ST and RNAscope. Over time there will be scope for you to contribute across the many diverse projects we run here at CGaP.

As a Senior Research Assistant you will play a fundamental role in implementing and transferring protocols into the CGaP facility. Here at CGaP you will be working with a team of enthusiastic, highly motivated Research Assistants, under the management of a Senior Scientific Manager. Your role will include offering day to day support to the team as well as training, troubleshooting and identifying areas for process improvement. A fundamental aspect of the role will be to inspire, develop and mentor junior staff, as well as working closely with the Senior Scientific Managers to successfully deliver projects.

In addition to the lab work our Senior Research Assistants are expected to have strong time management and organisational skills, be excellent communicators and in some cases may acquire line management responsibilities. As a department we strive to work together where possible, building a culture of continuous process improvements. We encourage all staff to take part in department and institute wide initiatives.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Postdoctoral qualification in biological science or equivalent experience in a histology laboratory 
  • Substantial histology experience e.g. wax embedding / cryosectioning & paraffin sectioning / H&E staining / immunohistochemistry
  • Significant experience working with primary human tissue samples / Human Tissue Act
  • Ability to troubleshoot complicated laboratory processes
  • Experience of identifying and successfully resolving complex scientific/technical issues
  • Proven track record in generating and analysing high quality data
  • High attention to detail and good record keeping
  • Proven ability to be able to organise and schedule their own work
  • Ability to successfully manage and prioritise multiple competing projects
  • Proven experience in training and developing others in scientific techniques
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience in collaborating with others and effectively working in teams

Ideal Skills

  • Prior experience of running and developing cell based assays and processes, including in situ hybridization of tissues (RNAScope), Spatial transcriptomics,  
  • Strong people management skills 


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 hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Please include a covering letter with your application describing how you meet the essential criteria for the role.

Closing date: 29th April 2019