Senior Laboratory Research Scientist
Senior Laboratory Research Scientist – UCLH-Crick Legacy study
This is a full-time, fixed term (3 years) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.
The Francis Crick Institute seeks to appoint a talented, collaborative and self-motivated senior laboratory research scientist (SLRS) with experience in flow cytometry to work on two of the enduring mysteries from the COVID-19 pandemic: (1) Why was COVID so mild in some but not other parts of the world, and (2) What are the biological drivers of persistent symptoms in people with “Long COVID”? You will work at the cutting edge of biomedical research, across two flagship clinical studies (UCLH-Crick Legacy study/WWW Consortium and STIMULTE-ICP trial) and interact directly with Crick Group Leaders and Science and Technology Platforms. To be successful in this role, you will have substantial experience in flow cytometry, with additional experience in at least one aspect of immunological profiling (e.g. cytokine profiling, proteomics, metabolomics). Experience of working in an interdisciplinary team or in clinical research would also be advantageous.
You will be working closely with the UCLH-Crick Legacy study to support experimental design, cell sorting and heavy metal labelling in mass cytometry using PBMCs from study participants. You will also work with the Proteomics and Metabolomics STPs to undertake multi-dimensional profiling of plasma samples from participants in both Legacy and STIMULATE-ICP studies, testing for differences between both metabolic and inflammatory pathways in participants with either resolved or persistent symptoms following COVID-19.
This post spans two flagship, complementary COVID-19 studies. The UCLH-Crick Legacy study is a multicentre consortium built from Clinicians and Group Leaders from across the Crick Institute and University College London Hospitals that tackles issues at the front-line of the on-going pandemic. Key aims include the study of coronavirus infection to develop understanding of the dynamics of pandemics such as Covid-19. Legacy is one of three cohort studies that comprise the recently established, Wellcome Trust funded WWW consortium, seeking to understand differences in the immune response to COVID-19 infections and vaccinations in adults across three geographically different regions (West Africa, West Indies and West London). Legacy utilises a unique bank of clinical samples gathered as part of the Crick Institute’s COVID-19 testing facility providing a remarkable resource for the investigation of facets of COVID-19 including immunity against emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (Wall et al., Lancet, 2021a; Wall et al., Lancet, 2021b), disease progression (Townsley et al., medRxiv, 2022), the impact of prior infection on immunity (Wu et al., Lancet, 2022a) vaccine efficacy and vulnerability of populations such as healthcare workers that can be used to inform policy on health and safety. Legacy also directly interfaces with other UCLH COVID studies examining the effect of the pandemic on different patient groups, including the NIHR funded STIMULATE-ICP trial. STIMULATE-ICP a large multi-centre trial investigating the symptoms, trajectory and pathogenesis of Long COVID in patients with persistent symptoms >12 weeks after primary COVID-19 infection. The causes of Long COVID remain unknown, and over 2 million people in the UK are estimated to be affected over the last 3 years. You will be working on a reverse translational sub-study within the trial, to test hypotheses on the causes of Long COVID and examining the immunological phenotypes underpinning a range of COVID-19 symptoms.
Your role is critical to support the expanding scope of our laboratory work in COVID-19 immunology across Legacy, the WWW consortium and STIMULATE-ICP. Over the last 2 years these matched cohorts have generated detailed longitudinal metadata and associated samples encompassing the entire spectrum of COVID-19 infections in previously healthy adults. You will use biological samples from these rich resources to approach fundamental questions on the underlying biology of different clinical and immunological responses to COVID-19. You will work primarily within the UCLH-Crick Legacy study team, led by Dr Emma Wall, with Dr David Bauer, Dr Edward Carr and Dr Mary Wu and work closely with the Crick’s Flow Cytometry, Proteomic and Metabolomic STPs.
Experimental design including panel selection, and subsequent preparation, labelling and analysis of PBMCs for flow and mass cytometry
Support experimental design including sample selection, preparation and analysis in proteomic and metabolomic profiling of people with acute resolved and chronic COVID-19 symptoms
Key experience and competencies
You should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values, bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:
A higher degree in biological science
Research experience in flow cytometry
A demonstrated interest in developing new approaches to experimental design and data analysis in collaboration with researchers
Excellent communication skills within a research environment, building working relationships with scientists, clinical researchers and support staff
Excellent time management to plan and execute work both individually and as part of a team
Interest in immunology and/or infectious diseases pathogenesis
Willing to undergo training and work in compliance with Good Clinical Practice standards
Excellent record keeper with an attention to detail
PhD in a relevant biological subject or equivalent experience
Experience of short-term culture of human cell lines or primary cells; for example T cell stimulation assays quantifying CD4 T cell responses to antigenic stimuli, including but not limited to ELISpot/Interferon gamma release/AIM assays
Experience of Mass Spectrometry, Proteomics or Metabolomics
Experience of cytokine profiling using Luminex or other multidimensional techniques
Experience of auto-antibody detection and B cell cloning
Experience of analysing multi-dimensional biological datasets
Demonstrated interest in translational research or clinical applications of biomedical research
Experienced with GCP standards and research compliance or happy to undergo training to work at that level
Ability to develop both SOPs and Risk Assessments