Research Assistant The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE (University of London)

 

FACULTY OF INFECTIOUS AND TROPICAL DISEASES

 

PATHOGEN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT

 

Research Assistant

 

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Research Assistant

 

 

We are seeking to appoint a post-graduate or preferably a post-doctoral Research Assistant to work with Dr Michael Gaunt, Dr Tapan Bhattacharyya, Prof Michael Miles and at University of Northern Colombia, Prof Andrew Falconar. The post is based in London at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the successful applicant will take part in a novel research project that will use cutting-edge reverse genetics of Zika virus (ZIKV) and next-generation sequencing technologies to investigate the molecular basis to antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) against previous dengue virus infections (DENV).

 

The post holder will work with a Zika virus infectious clone and with full-genome sequences from culture and primary isolates sampled during Zika virus or dengue outbreaks. They will use reverse genetics to elucidate the molecular determinants of ADE between ZIKV and prior DENV infections, identified using extensive bioinformatics predicted mutants within an ADE assay.

 

The post holder will also provide support to the group, including the ordering and maintaining of laboratory supplies, keeping meticulous records of experimental results, and collating and analysing research data to prepare it for presentation and publication.

 

The successful applicant will have a minimum of a MSc and preferably a PhD degree in a relevant area of RNA molecular virology with proven experience of laboratory work in reverse genetics and preferably high-throughput sequencing. Training can be provided in post-genomic analyses and phylogenetics and support will be given for ADE phenotype assays.

 

The post is funded by EU2020 for a period of 2 to 2.5 years and is available from 4th January 2016. Salary is on the Academic Pathway scale from £32,324 - £37,106 per annum (inclusive of London Weighting).

 

The supporting statement section should set out how your qualifications, experience and training meet each of the selection criteria.  Please provide one or more paragraphs addressing each criterion.  The supporting statement is an essential part of the selection process and thus a failure to provide this information will mean that the application will not be considered.  An answer to any of the criteria such as “Please see attached CV” will not be considered acceptable.

 

Please note that if you are shortlisted and are unable to attend on the interview date it may not be possible to offer you an alternative date. 

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is committed to being an equal opportunities employer

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Post:                          Research Assistant

Responsible to:       Dr Michael Gaunt, Prof Andrew Falconar.

Department:             PMBD

Main duties and responsibilities:

 

  • Design, implement and optimise mutations of two Zika virus infectious clones
  • Undertake microbiology techniques with ZIKV to ensure completion of the objectives within the project, including culturing,  RNA extraction, targeted mutagenesis, NGS library preparation, sequencing, RT-qPCR
  • Conduct or strongly assist with in vivo models of ADE
  • Participate in general laboratory duties as designated by the Principal Investigator and provide laboratory support for members of the team, including ordering and maintaining supplies essential to the project
  • Collate and analyse research data and prepare it for presentation and publication
  • Play an active role in laboratory and departmental scientific meetings and journal clubs
  • Keep meticulous records of experimental details
  • Observe School and Departmental Safety Guidelines relating to good laboratory practice and the handling of pathogenic materials
  • Contribute to the Faculty teaching programme, up to 10% of your time per annum, subject to the policy of any funding agency (by agreement, some staff may make a greater contribution than this)

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

 

Essential requirements:

 

  • Proven experience of laboratory work in molecular biology and involvement in reverse genetics and preferably in vivo models
  • Working with RNA viruses
  • Familiarity with international standards for laboratory safety
  • Ideally a PhD in a relevant area of biological sciences
  • Excellent management, organisational, written and verbal communication skills
  • Willingness to assist in the training of students, visiting workers or new staff in the laboratory

 

Desirable requirements:

 

  • Experience in next-generation sequencing (RNA sequencing, genome sequencing)
  • Experience of working in a category level 3 laboratory
  • Experience of bioinformatics involving either phylogenetics, NGS, or structural modelling

 

SALARY AND CONDITIONS OF APPOINTMENT

 

The post is funded by EU2020 for a period of 2 years and is available from 16th January, 2017. Annual leave entitlement is 30 working days per year for all staff (pro-rata for part-time staff).  In addition, staff are entitled to public holidays and Director’s days on which the School is closed.

 

ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION

 

Professional Support Staff Roles

The School will comply with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which requires all employees to provide documentary evidence of their legal right to work in this country prior to commencing employment.  Candidates will be required to bring their passport (and visa if applicable) to interview so that it can be copied and verified.

 

For support staff vacancies, it is not likely that the School would be able to make a successful application for a Certificate of Sponsorship.  For this type of post, it is unlikely that we would be able to appoint an individual who is not currently eligible to work in the UK.

Further information about Certificate of Sponsorship and eligibility to work in the UK, can be found at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points

 

Academic Staff Roles

The School will comply with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which requires all employees to provide documentary evidence of their legal right to work in this country prior to commencing employment. Please be aware that you will be required to bring your passport (and visa if applicable) to interview so that it can be copied and verified. For posts requiring a recognised degree level or equivalent qualification, and where there is no suitable UK or European Economic Area candidate, the School will take the necessary steps to secure UK Border Agency permission for a foreign national to take up employment.

 

Should a candidate require a Certificate of Sponsorship in order to take up a post they will need to meet the UK Border Agency Tier 2 Points Based Criteria. A self assessment tool can be found on the UK Border Agency website at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/pointscalculator

 

A candidate may also be required to undertake an English Language test prior to commencing work at the School. Details of Home Office approved tests can be found at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/pbsapprovedenglishlanguage

 

Further information on the eligibility criteria for Certificates of Sponsorship can be found at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points


Contact: michael.gaunt@lshtm.ac.uk


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