Advanced Research Assistant - Cellular Generation and Phenotyping

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Aug 2021

Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working

An opportunity has arisen for three talented cell biology specialists to join our team as Advanced Research Assistants and support the Cellular Generation and Phenotyping team (CGaP)  at the Sanger Institute.

These roles will require you to work as leading members within their teams to drive the development of the cell biology, troubleshoot issues, identify areas for process improvement and train junior members of staff.

Please see the following job overview for each role:

About Roles 1 and 2:

You will be working as a part of a team on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) differentiation into neuronal lineages using both wild type and knock out iPSCs.

As an Advanced Research Assistant, you will play a fundamental role in expansion, banking and differentiation of iPSCs into neural stem cells and terminally differentiated neurons. Working in partnership with faculty teams and the various Sanger facilities, you will enable the project to run at scale. The role requires you to aid in tracking the progress of the project to ensure a high quality of work and see the project through to completion.

You will be part of an experienced team of enthusiastic, highly motivated Research Assistants, under the management of a Senior Scientific Manager. Your role will include the culture and manipulation of iPSCs in the lab; co-ordinating the transfer of samples to and from teams; ensuring processes and protocols are kept up-to-date. In addition to the lab work, we expect our Advanced Research Assistants to have strong time management and organisational skills and be excellent communicators.

In addition, at a later stage there will also be the potential opportunity for one of the roles to join a project focusing on the derivation of blood cells in to iPSCs.

About Role 3:

You will join a multi-disciplinary team performing genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screens on cancer and iPSC lines to investigate gene essentiality on an individual patient level.

As an Advanced Research Assistant within these projects, you will perform large-scale culture of cancer and iPSC lines, transduction of these cell lines with lentivirus and quality control analysis using a range of assays such as flow cytometry and viability assays. You will support management in reporting on project progress and ensuring good communication with the faculty group for sample transfer and troubleshooting.

About CGaP:

We are a core research group, responsible for providing cell biology resource and expertise to the wider institute. We do this by running multiple, diverse, high-throughput projects for various faculty teams from across the Sanger Institute. Our current portfolio of projects include iPSC derivation, differentiation of iPSCs toward myeloid and neuronal lineages, genome wide CRISPR screens of iPSC and cancer cells, organoid derivation, the Human Cell Atlas Initiative. These are the projects of today but the scope for what CGaP does is endless.

Our role is to support the institute in its aims and for that we continually strive to remain at the forefront of cutting edge research. Namely translating academic research into large-scale projects, which push the boundaries of our understanding, allowing the Sanger to remain a world leader in genome research.

Department ethos

As a department we work together to deliver large-scale projects successfully, building a culture of respect, cohesiveness and continuous process improvements. We will provide you with all the appropriate training for you to fulfil your role and offer you a career pathway so you can continue to progress and learn new skills. We encourage all staff to take part in the learning and development opportunities available at the Institute, as well as department and institute wide initiatives.

Further information about CGaP, and the projects we work on, can be found on our website .

Essential Skills


  • Degree in Biological Sciences or an equivalent qualification, with 2 years relevant laboratory experience
  • Extensive experience culturing mammalian cell lines
  • Experience of running cell based assays or antibody staining techniques
  • Ability to test and implement new approaches and techniques into new SOPs

 Skills & Attributes:

  • Ability to troubleshoot and process improve
  • High attention to detail and excellent record keeping
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills
  • Proven ability to be able to prioritise, organise and schedule their own work
  • Proven experience of working within a team

Ideal Skills


  • Experience of iPSC differentiation - preferably neuronal (Roles 1 and 2)
  • Experience in iPSC derivation (Roles 1 and2)
  • Experience of use of CRISPR-Cas9 in cell lines (Role 3)

 Skills & Attributes:

  • Experience collaborating with others and effectively working in teams
  • Experience of training others
  • Proven track record in generating and analysing high quality data

Other information

At Sanger, we appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer friendly policies. We will equally consider applications from candidates working either full or part time hours (minimum 25 hours per week for these positions/minimum 4 days a week). Please specify your preferred working hours and pattern in your application.

Application Process

Please apply online and include a covering letter with your application describing how you meet the essential criteria for the role. Please also answers the two specific questions that are given during the application process.

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