BRF GeMS Research Scientist

In the Crick's Stp-Brf | Gems Research Team - 4.

The GeMS Research Scientist (RS) post-holder interacts closely with other members of the lab, and the wider GM Service. In addition, the post-holder interacts with other scientists and staff across other labs at the Crick, staff across the Biological Research Facility and with other local and off-site services.The post-holder is required to contribute to both the gene delivery process, through microinjection, electroporation and embryo transfer, and the cryopreservation and ART service. They are required to track and report on progress and are expected to improve the service, for example by seeking specialist training, improving protocols or by generating or involvement in specific development projects.

Key information

Job reference
R521
Salary
From £32,500 per annum, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
01 February 2022, 23:59 GMT
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 11 January 2022

Reports to: GeMs Molecular & Cell biology manager

This is a full-time, permanent position on Crick terms and conditions

Summary

The Biological Research Facility (BRF) supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme. The BRF 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

Animal models provide an important means to determine gene function and model disease.  The BRF are providing expertise and support for housing and experiment, all underpinned with world-class standards of welfare.  Within the BRF, Genetic Modification Services (GeMS) provide a breadth of specialist skills and resources for the design, creation, production, storage and use of genetically altered animals, germplasms and cell lines together with ancillary techniques.

The services that GeMS offer are frequently updated, but currently comprise:

  • Molecular biology –the design and production of sequences for targeting strategies, with a focus on CRISPR & novel techniques.
  • Micromanipulation – introduction of gene sequence by electroporation, cytoplasmic or pronuclear microinjection of one cell fertilised embryos, ES cell microinjection of blastocysts or 8 cell embryos and aggregation
  • Surgical expertise– mainly embryo transfer surgery but specialism in other surgical techniques as required as well as training in aseptic technique
  • Cryopreservation of rodent and aquatic germplasm for archiving and backup of GA lines
  • Assisted Reproductive techniques such as IVF, AI, ICSI
  • Rederivation of live and frozen imports & exports to and from the Crick, managing the shipment process, and maintaining the integrity of the health status of the BRF.
  • Murine stem cell culture, maintenance and transfection, derivation and characterisation.

The GeMS Research Scientist (RS) post holder will participate in the creation of new animal models, taking a lead role towards the development of a subset of projects. As such, you will be expected develop a detailed understanding of genetic modification and mouse genetics and will be expected to follow breeding progress ensuring that the 3R’s principles for in vivo research (replacement, reduction and refinement) underpins all work that is undertaken.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • The design and generation of reagents for the production and validation of new mutant alleles, predominantly using CRISPR based genetic manipulation. Core molecular biology techniques will include LR-PCR, PCR, digital droplet or qPCR, molecular cloning, NGS sequencing technologies, genotyping and sequence analysis.
  • Plan and perform in vitro CRISPR facilitated and classical gene targeting experiment using electroporation, nucleofection and lipofection. Engage in out of hours cell culture work rota.
  • Participate in the creation of new animal models, taking a lead role towards the development of a subset of projects.
  • Maintain the progress of a subset of projects to set deadlines, identifying and troubleshooting at each step, seeking support when required.
  • Maintain records, ensuring your own scientific work is always carried out accurately and efficiently, adhering to legal frameworks.
  • Awareness and promotion of all relevant health and safety guidance and legislation.
  • Reviewing and updating relevant SOPs, COSHH and RAs to share with staff as appropriate and monitoring staff compliance
  • Participating in committees and working groups.
  • Provide written and verbal reports as required, including those related to animal welfare, production, scientific procedures and health and safety matters.
  • Ordering consumables via a computer ordering system, ensuring value for money at all times and maintaining the budget for that service aspect
  • Use of the Colony Management and other appropriate storage and procedural databases.
  • Using and training of others in all in house database systems appropriately and report any issues with any in house database systems to the head(s) of service and cascading to appropriate working groups.

Person Specification

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

Essential     

Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • A degree or equivalent in a biological subject.
  • A proven track record in a relevant position, particularly in molecular biology and mammalian cell culture.
  • Exhibit knowledge and understanding CRISPR/Cas design and associated techniques. Practical experience in the use of CRISPR.
  • Experience of using genome browsers, DNA analysis software and CRISPR Cas guide on/off target specificity software.
  • Commitment to continued professional development (CPD).
  • Experience of contributing effectively to the work of a team with a flexible and collaborative approach.
  • Experience or willingness to work with animal models.
  • Ability to work independently and drive a project forward through good project planning, time-keeping, organisational and record-keeping skills.
  • An understanding of health and safety requirements in relation to animal care and use
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written with the ability to relay straight forward and complex information to a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Good interpersonal skills enabling the post holder to influence and deliver at all levels
  • Strong planning skills, the ability to prioritize in the face of competing demands, proven success in delivering work personally (and through others) to tight deadlines
  • Good decision-making skills with the ability to use initiative and problem solve

Desirable

  • Designing or experience in gene editing/targeting experiments.
  • De novo mESC derivation and mESC culture
  • Experience of designing and implementation of genotyping strategies.
  • Experience of supervising and training others to work to defined standard operational procedures
  • Knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the legislative framework, Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (Amended 2012), Human Fertilisation and Embryo Act (2008) and all other relevant legislation