Head of GeMS

In the Crick's Stp|Brf.

Reporting directly to the Director of the BRF the post holder makes a major contribution to the science of the Institute. The role is pivotal in ensuring the strategic and operational success of GeMS to provide a cohesive, comprehensive, flexible and adaptable service to the Crick. The post holder works closely with, and is part of, the BRF Senior Management Team and interacs regularly with Crick Senior Management, Named Persons, Group Leaders, Building Services and all other members of Institute Operations. The postholder leads collaboration and horizon scan to allow rapid uptake and implementation of new technologies relevant to the Crick’s science. The postholder contributes to the development of staff across the Institute and many engage in academic training and supervision.

Key information

Job reference
Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
02 December 2021, 23:59 GMT
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 25 November 2021

Please note that the role will close at midnight on 3rd December 2021. Therefore, please apply for the position before midnight, so that your application can be considered.

Head of the Genetic Modification Service (GeMS)

Reports to: Director of the BRF


The Biological Research Facility supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme. The Biological Research Facility provides the Crick's laboratory animal resource and technical services. High quality multidisciplinary in-vivo and ex-vivo research support are at the heart of the BRF's philosophy and operations. The BRF is committed to improving animal welfare, scientific quality, care of staff and transparency for stakeholders. The BRF teams integrate husbandry of multiple species within a range of facilities, using state of the art technologies, via a talented and skilled team.

The Head of GeMS will be expected to make a major contribution to the science of the Institute. The post holder is member of the BRF Senior Management Team. The Head of GeMS is pivotal in ensuring the strategic and operational success of GeMS and provides strong leadership and management of both the Embryology and Molecular Cell biology teams. The Head of GeMS will lead (inter)national collaborations, develop methods and technology for genetic modification and horizon scan to allow rapid uptake and implementation of new technologies relevant to the Crick’s science. The post holder will work in collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders to provide a comprehensive and adaptable service to the Crick.

Key responsibilities

Defining the role of Head of GeMS as the driving force to establish the one stop shop for all ‘transgenic services’ by efficiently genetically modifying mammalian embryos and cells according to specifications, and to ensure development and continuity for the cryopreservation and rederivation service and to meet user requirements at all levels in a timely fashion.

Specific objectives will include, but not be limited to:

  • Oversee and integrate the activities of the GeMS teams.
  • Establish and integrate the technology and expertise to carry out genetic modification of cells of humans, rodents and aquatic species.
  • Manage outsourcing of Crick genetic modification projects where this represents value for money & implement.
  • Demonstrate leadership in the development, establishment and improvement of methods and technology across the GeMS services remit.
  • Contribute to the human iPSC Platform for ‘Health and Disease’ (e.g. cortical organoids) to better model human disease states in vitro.
  • Establish the Crick’s GeMS as an (inter)nationally recognised centre of excellence for genetic modification.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: Bold, Imaginative, Open, Dynamic and Collegiate, in addition to the following:


  • PhD or equivalent experience
  • Extensive research experience in molecular and cell biology, embryology, genetics and related disciplines or other equivalent experience.
  • Comprehensive and current knowledge, skills and understanding of molecular and cell biology, more in general of the advancement of technology and techniques relevant to GeMS services.
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly learn, understand and implement new technologies.
  • Proven track record of publications.
  • Evidence of addition to design and develop techniques.
  • Practical experience using gene editing technology in mammalian cell systems including human cell systems.
  • Practical experience in mammalian cell and tissue culture.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of the relevant legislative framework, which includes the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (as amended 2012) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryo Act (2008).
  • Strong planning skills, the ability to prioritise in the face of competing demands, proven success in delivering work personally (and through others) to tight deadlines.
  • Proven managerial experience and responsibility for a team, with an ability to lead and inspire others to achieve objectives.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written with the ability to relay straight forward and complex information to a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Proven experience of collaborations with both internal and external stakeholders, including the management of suppliers for outsourced services.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills enabling the post holder to influence and deliver at all levels.
  • Experience in supervising, training and teaching others.
  • Experience of computational analysis of large datasets including scripting (e.g. Perl, Python, etc.).
  • Evidence of CPD.