Research Assistant/Research Associate job at KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

job description

This is a research position aimed at assisting Professor So in the design and acceleration of his research projects for the publication of academic articles and the obtaining of grants.

The purpose of this position is to develop and accelerate projects aimed at characterizing the DDR response, replication stress and epigenetic networks in leukemia using disease models newly developed in the London laboratory and a potential secondment to the University of Hong Kong. Transcription factors and their associated epigenetic modifying enzymes are frequently deregulated or even mutated in human acute myeloid leukemia (Zeisig et al., 2012, Cancer Cell). Over the years, our lab has focused on the characterization of key transcriptional/epigenetic networks and their emerging crosstalk with DNA damage repair (DDR) mechanisms central to the development of leukemia (Kwok et al., 2006, Cancer Cell; Zeisig et al., 2007, Cancer Cell; Cheung et al., 2007, Nat Cell Biology; Arteaga et al., 2013, Cancer Cell; Esposito et al., 2015, Nature Medicine; Cheung et al. , 2016, Cancer Cell; Luo et al., 2019 , Cancer Cell; Zeisig et al., 2021 Science Translational Medicine, Luo et al., 2022, Molecular Cell). Details of the lab can be found at https://www.kcl.ac.uk/research/leukaemia-and-stem-cell-biology. The candidate will lead projects aimed at characterizing novel crosstalk between DDR, replication stress, transcription-replication conflict, and epigenetic mechanisms in the establishment and treatment of leukemia. The initial contract is for 2 years but is renewable depending on the progress of the projects. Applicants should have strong experience and relevant publications in the fields of DDR, DNA replication, epigenetic gene regulation and/or cancer biology

Key objectives:

1) Perform cellular and molecular analyzes to study DDR, replication stress and epigenetic changes during leukemia development and treatment.

2) Introduce appropriate new techniques and procedures, ensuring that all new technical techniques and procedures are properly validated and documented and ensuring that colleagues are trained in the new techniques and procedures.

3) Design and implement systems for laboratory information management (both electronic and manual) and archiving of analytical material

This position will be offered on a fixed-term contract for up to 36 months, with the possibility of renewal.

This is a full-time position – 100% full-time equivalent

Main responsibilities

Analysis & Research:

The job holder will:

• Regularly undertake a variety of complex and demanding computer analyzes without supervision. This will include (non-exhaustive list):

o Transcriptomic analysis (eg RNA-seq).

o ChIP-Seq/Cut-and-Run Seq, ATEC-Seq, Bisupfite-Seq analysis

o Affinity purification of new transcriptional complexes

o DNA damage response (DDR) and replication stress

o Target and network identification

o Identification of signatures and correlation with patient/clinical data.

• introduce appropriate new techniques and procedures, ensure that all new technical techniques and procedures are properly validated and documented, and ensure that colleagues are trained in the new techniques and procedures.

• design and implement systems for managing laboratory information (both electronic and manual) and for archiving analytical material.

• develop new original research projects based on an in-depth assessment of the published literature and body of knowledge in their own specialty.

Team work:

The job holder will:

  • work with other members of the lab on a day-to-day basis based on the ever-changing needs of the group, under the guidance of the Leukemia and Stem Cell Biology Group Leader. This will require a commitment to a flexible and service/team-oriented approach
  • be trained in procedures as required by more senior and experienced members of the Group
  • be able to train other junior lab members as needed

• develop and enhance their own scientific knowledge and awareness of developments in the field of leukemia stem cell biology by participating in relevant meetings and conferences, both nationally and internationally.

Supervision, communication and networking:

The job holder will:

• organize and participate in department meetings and contribute to effective communication within the department regarding project development and project management.

• present research at national and international meetings

• assist in the preparation of grant applications, project rationales, business cases and project reports

• prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals

  • communicate in a timely manner any adverse event or condition that will/could lead to a failure or interruption of the Group’s activities to the Head of the Leukemia Stem Cell Biology Group
  • network effectively with colleagues in other groups within the department, with peers within King’s College London as a whole and outside the college to support the Leukemia Stem Cell Biology Group Leader in training and develop collaborative relationships
  • Maintain professional conduct with all staff and visitors at all times.
  • communicate with suppliers to purchase goods and services and to resolve problems with supplies and equipment.
  • assist and support doctoral students in laboratory experiments

Decision making, planning and problem solving:

The job holder will:

  • report to the head of department
  • report to the Leukemia and Stem Cell Biology Group Leader for goal setting and workload prioritization

• prioritize and plan own workload and communicate own work priorities within the team.

  • undertake complex laboratory tasks, including solving high-level problems, such as rectifying faults in laboratory equipment, without direct supervision

Delivery service:

The job holder will:

  • assist the Head of the Leukemia and Stem Cell Biology Group to agree, define and manage service standards

Sensory/Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

The job holder will:

  • respect the Ministerial Code of Safe Work Practices at all times
  • assist the Leukemia and Stem Cell Biology Group Leader in maintaining a safe working environment by acting as ward supervisor for one or more rooms within the group facilities if and when directed by the Group Leader
  • be required to work in the confined space of biological/microbiological safety stations and perform procedures that require high levels of concentration for long periods of time

Pastoral:

The job holder will:

• mentor junior staff and students as directed by the Head of Leukemia and Stem Cell Biology

Skills, knowledge and experience

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Essential criteria

1. BSc Hons in a biomedical science field or equivalent (e.g. medical degree)

2. Extensive knowledge of computational analyzes on global epigenetic datasets/DDR/affinity purification of protein complexes

3. In-depth knowledge of leukemia or hematopoietic stem cell biology

4. At least one relevant publication in a high-impact journal

5. Competent in the interpretation and technical validation of results

6. Competent in problem solving

7. Good verbal and written communication skills in English

8. Ability to think logically, adapt to changing needs and show initiative

9. Ability to meet deadlines under pressure

10. Ability to work in a team and independently Desirable criteria

11. Ability to organize workload and react accordingly to changes in workload

12. Ability to handle laboratory computer systems and standard software packages

Desirable criteria

1. Experience in analyzing a global transcriptomic and epigenetic dataset

2. Experience with general molecular biology and biochemistry procedures

3. Experience in studying mouse models

4. Experience with procedures used in the characterization of hemopoiesis, including xenotransplantation models

5. Experience working with biological samples, laboratory information systems

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Essential criteria

1. BSc Hons in a biomedical science field or equivalent (e.g. medical degree)

2. PhD in which research on epigenetic regulation/DDR/Biochemistry constituted a substantial part.

3. In-depth knowledge of global transcription/epigenetic dataset/DDR analytics

4. Thorough knowledge of leukemia or hematopoietic stem cell biology

5. At least one relevant publication in a high-impact journal

6. Good verbal and written communication skills in English

7. Ability to work in a team and independently

8. Ability to organize workload and react accordingly to changes in workload

9. Ability to handle laboratory computer systems and standard software packages

10. Experience with general molecular biology and biochemistry procedures

11. Experience in developing new tests and procedures

12. Experience writing, validating and adhering to standard operating procedures

Desirable criteria

1. Experience in Affinity Purification of Protein Complexes

2. Experience with general cell biology and immunology procedures

3. Experience in studying mouse models

4. Experience with procedures used in the characterization of hemopoiesis, including xenotransplantation models

5. Ability to assist and support doctoral students and other post-docs for their computer analyzes