Senior Laboratory Research Scientist in the Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform
Head of Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform
This is a full-time, fixed term (2.5 years) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.
The Francis Crick Institute is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London. It is a registered charity whose purpose is to conduct biomedical research into all aspects of human health and disease.
The Crick is a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It promotes connections between researchers and disciplines and between academic institutions, healthcare organisations and businesses. Dedicated to research excellence, the Crick has the scale, vision and expertise to tackle the most challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease. It is world-class with a strong national role — training scientists and developing ideas for public good. The Crick is located in a purpose-built research centre in Midland Road, St. Pancras and houses around 1,500 staff.
There are 17 Science Technology Platforms at the Crick, providing scientists with unparalleled support to help them streamline their research and achieve their research goals faster. The Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform (EM STP) images a variety of biomedical samples using a wide range of sample preparation and imaging techniques, including resin embedding and ultramicrotomy, immunolabelling, plunge freezing, high pressure freezing, fluorescence microscopy, transmission EM, scanning EM, electron tomography, volume electron microscopy (Serial Block Face SEM, Focused Ion Beam SEM and array tomography), integrated light and electron microscopy (ILEM), correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), cryo-fluorescence microscopy and microCT.
The EM STP also houses the Microscopy Prototyping team, with expertise in instrument development across many of the EM STP’s sample preparation, imaging and analysis activities. This includes optics, electronics, CAD, nano-positioning and software development, both for analysis and hardware control. The MP team frequently works with the Crick’s mechanical workshop to design and build custom precision parts, as well as working with the Scientific Computing STP to build and support sustainable open-source software tools.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has funded the VP-CLEM-KIT consortium to develop a pipeline for democratising volumetric visual proteomics:
The VP-CLEM-KIT team is led by Dr Lucy Collinson from the EM STP at the Francis Crick Institute, with Professor Paul French (at Imperial College London) and Professor Ricardo Henriques (at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal). The project will deliver a disruptive cost-effective pipeline for high resolution correlative light and electron microscopy (HR-CLEM) that can be implemented in any light microscopy facility by removing the dependency on advanced EM expertise and equipment. Our international multidisciplinary team has the necessary expertise (in probes, sample preparation, advanced imaging, optics, open-source hardware and software, image analysis, machine learning, workflow integration and user experience) to enable this pipeline to be used by biologists and clinical researchers to visualise, measure and analyse proteins in the context of cells and tissues in health and disease.
The role of Senior Laboratory Research Scientist (SLRS) will work between the EM and MP teams and in close collaboration with the French and Henriques labs to conceptualise, develop, test and deploy the new pipeline for high precision correlative light and electron microscopy. In this role, the post-holder will use their knowledge of EM workflows to guide the technology development in order to ensure the novel instrumentation is as user-friendly and broadly accessible as possible. The role will require advanced skills in sample preparation for electron microscopy, ultramicrotomy, fluorescence microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, volume EM and bioimage analysis. The post-holder will have experience of, or a strong interest in, technique and technology development in the imaging sciences to answer biomedical and clinical research questions, as well as a creative and innovative approach, and the ability to work with multiple stakeholders to deliver results in a defined timeframe.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Work closely with technology developers towards the design of critical hardware and software elements of a new correlative microscopy workflow.
- Work closely with electron microscopists and end-users to ensure newly developed technologies are user-friendly and accessible.
- Train electron microscopists and other end-users in the application of the newly developed technologies.
- Continuing professional development in the field of bioimaging and instrument development
KEY EXPERIENCE AND COMPETENCIES
The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following…
- A degree in a relevant field
- Experience of fluorescence microscopy for imaging cells and tissues
- Experience in sample preparation for EM, including room temperature fixation and resin embedding of cells and tissues, and cryo preparation by high pressure freezing
- Experience of ultramicrotomy, including serial sectioning
- Broad skills in using transmission, scanning and volume electron microscopes for imaging cells and tissues
- Experience of using a range of open source software for image analysis in light and electron microscopy
- Experience of contributing effectively to the work of a team
- Ability to work independently when required
- Flexible and cooperative approach to working with others
- Excellent project planning, time-keeping, organisational and record-keeping skills
- Enthusiastic, well organised and able to prioritise workload
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to think creatively and problem-solve
- A PhD in a relevant field
- Experience of Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy
- Experience of In-Resin Fluorescence workflows
- Experience of alpha and beta testing new instruments and software
- Experience of working in a multidisciplinary environment
- Experience of instrument development and integration for high-precision research applications
- Experience of writing software in a common language, e.g. python, MATLAB, Java or C
- Experience of computer vision or image analysis in a common software platform, e.g. python, MATLAB, C/C++, Java or ImageJ
The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.
An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.
The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand-new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under one roof in Europe.
The Francis Crick Institute will be world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; to developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; to public engagement; and to helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.
Please note: all offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.
Please complete this section with key words and terms that people may enter into a search engine when they are job hunting. This will help us to make your advert more visible to the target market, for example:
- Fluorescence Microscopy
- Electron Microscopy
- Volume EM
- In-Resin Fluorescence
- Instrument development
- Software development
- Open source