Senior Laboratory Research Scientist – Viral Vectors and In Vivo Experiments - Applied Biotechnology Laboratory

Applies an in-depth knowledge of research, technical or other scientific practices, methods and procedures gained through either experience and/or formal academic qualifications and applies this knowledge to provide a range of specialist activities. Senior Laboratory Research Scientist is the level at which careers in this functional family typically stabilise.
Deadline for applications has passed.

Key information

Job reference
R853
Salary
£36,500 - £42,250, subject to skills and experience
Applications closed
07 August 2022, 23:59 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 05 August 2022
Background texture taken from the lab imagery.

Contact term:

  • This is a full-time, fixed term (24 months) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.

Summary

This position is for a Senior Laboratory Research Scientist in the Applied Biotechnology Laboratory led by Sam Rodriques. The postholder will work on developing a new viral vector technology for delivering gene therapies to specific cell types. The postholder will support this project by planning and performing in vivo experiments in mice, and helping to produce and purify viruses and other proteins. The postholder will also support other lab members in developing breakthrough technologies that can be deployed widely to accelerate biology, neuroscience, and medicine.

Suitable candidates must have surgical experience with mice, including PIL C in the UK or an equivalent surgical license in other countries. Suitable candidates should also have experience with protein expression and purification methods.

Project summary

The Applied Biotechnology Laboratory works at the interface between academic bioengineering and biotechnology entrepreneurship. Our goal is to develop biotechnologies that address major unmet needs in biology and medicine and to put them into every laboratory or every clinic in the world. Examples of recent and current projects include a novel diagnostic technology that can detect proteins at ultralow concentrations in the blood for infectious disease; a spatial transcriptomics technology that is the first to provide transcriptome-wide gene expression profiling with single-cell spatial resolution; and adeno-associated viruses that can evade the immune system to allow for repeat dosing of gene therapies. In all of these projects, we combine core competencies in molecular biology, microscopy, NGS, and protein engineering with an experience and expertise in biotechnology entrepreneurship that is rare among academic labs, allowing us to identify more important unmet needs and deploy solutions more rapidly.

The successful candidate will work primarily on a project developing a new viral vector technology which will enable the targeting of viruses to specific cell types throughout the body. Our technology allows viruses to be reprogrammed to target some cell populations, while ignoring other cells. Once the technology is sufficiently mature and validated, we expect to spin it out into a company, which will apply the method to develop therapies for a range of diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and autoimmune diseases. The candidate will be responsible for producing viruses and other proteins, and for planning and coordinating experiments in animal models to demonstrate the efficacy of the method.

The candidate will also perform mouse experiments to support other projects in the lab, including projects aimed at developing new technologies to map connections between neurons in the brain, and projects aimed at developing new nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Collaborating with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to develop new viral vector technologies.
  • Producing and purifying viral vectors and proteins.
  • Planning, conducting, and analyzing mouse experiments related to various research projects in the lab.
  • Maintaining high-quality lab notes and maintaining the central lab inventory.
  • Reporting on a regular basis to the leader of the Applied Biotechnology Laboratory.
  • Presenting results at lab meetings and at international conferences.
  • Writing up results and publishing papers in major, internationally recognized journals.
  • Assisting in training graduate students and other members of the laboratory.

In addition, as necessary or desired, the postholder will have the opportunity to consult for external companies on topics related to their research, and to pitch their ideas to investors and to participate in the technology transfer process.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, open, and collegial, in addition to the following:

Essential:

Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • Higher education degree in a field of engineering, molecular biology or similar
  • Experience with mouse surgeries and (if applicable in the relevant jurisdiction) an animal license that permits animal surgery. If the candidate has experience with mouse research in the UK, the candidate must have UK Personal Licence, Category C (PIL C).
  • Experience in fields such as molecular biology and protein engineering,
  • Motivation to perform cutting-edge engineering with a focus on translation
  • A demonstrated ability to generate and pursue independent research ideas.
  • Strong skills in organising and thorough record-keeping
  • Strong collaborative ability and teamwork experience
  • Strong communication skills and presenting ability

Desired:

  • Candidates with experience in purifying proteins from bacterial, yeast, or mammalian systems will be prioritized.
  • A track record of publishing high-impact papers.