View Vacancy -- Junior Researcher - Chemistry NATA 1430
The Medical Research Council (part of UKRI) are currently launching a new initiative with a mission to unlock the potential of precision genetic medicines and speed up clinical developments.
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of establishing an internationally unique resource (NATA), drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies and anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.
The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs.
UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at www.ukri.org
MRC - 4
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£31,602 - £34,443 per annum
Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator
The Medical Research Council (MRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), have invested a total of £30m over 4 years through the Strategic Priorities Fund to establish a nucleic acid therapy accelerator (NATA) that will support state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research to solve critical issues in nucleic acid drug delivery, through focused NATA research challenges and a NATA infrastructure hub. This will be an internationally unique resource, drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies, anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.
The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs. This investment will support capacity building in terms of equipment, upskilling and domain expertise that will be essential in developing critical mass to catalyse and de-risk the development of next generation nucleic acid medicines.
The NATA has the opportunity to establish a new industrial sector attracting and developing highly skill jobs with the potential of the UK being the leader in the field where global nucleic acid therapies market is expected to be £6 billion by 2025.
The Junior Researcher will be critical in supporting the NATA chemistry department by developing new Acid Nucleic Therapeutics on multidisciplinary projects. This individual will be involved in the synthesis of novel chemically modified building blocks for oligonucleotide synthesis and new conjugates. This position will also include synthesis of novel Nucleic Acid Therapeutics conjugates alongside production of high-quality molecules using already established protocols.
The post holder will manage the chemistry side of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics projects for various collaborations. They will report to the Head of department.
- Undertake research aiming at developing new approaches for Nucleic Acid Therapeutics synthesis and design
- Identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives
- Take a proactive approach to learning and implementing new techniques and approaches applied to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
- Introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required
- Ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements
- Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities
- Enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme
- Design experiments with proper controls, consideration of power and in the case of pre-clinical studies 3Rs and ARRIVE guidelines
- Perform oligonucleotide synthesis and conjugation for Nucleic Acid Therapeutics according to standard protocols
- Optimize existing synthesis, purification and conjugation protocols
- Research and establish new synthesis and conjugation procedures
- Research and establish new conjugates, linkers and chemically modified building blocks used in oligonucleotide synthesis
- Troubleshoot and maintain synthesis procedures and equipment
- Record and well document experimental plans
- Keep secure and well-organized and contemporaneous scientific records
- Analyse and report data to the Head of the Department (verbal and written reports)
- Write and submit manuscripts for publication with the Head of Department
- Present work internally and at national and international meetings
- Contribute to lab meetings
- Maintain a good knowledge of the relevant literature and of the wider field and actively promote this to the group
- Work effectively with collaborators
- Support Research Assistant
- Effectively manage resources
Essential selection criteria
- Hold a relevant Ph.D/D.Phil in Chemistry, preferably related to Nucleic Acid
- Peer-reviewed research publications commensurable with career stage
- Broad knowledge of organic chemistry and especially oligonucleotides chemistry/synthesis
- Experience and knowledge of liquid and solid phase chemistries
- Experience of characterization and Quality Control of Nucleic Acids
- Hands on experience with RNA/DNA synthesizer
- High level of creativity and independence in developing innovative synthesis methods and solving complex problems
- Experience and knowledge of data analysis and interpretation
- Experience of managing chemistry projects
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Ability to analyse data in the literature and place their own work in the context of work in the field
- Passionate about collaborative working and building relationships to reach common goal
- High level organisational skills, with the ability to manage a broad range of jobs simultaneously and under pressure.
- Capable of critical thinking
- Working and adhering to standard operating procedures and experience of process analysis and refinement
- Organised, hard-working with a strong eye for detail and is able to work as part of a team
- Demonstrate ability to mean milestones
- Flexible and adaptable, able to manage changing priorities
Desirable selection criteria
- Postdoctoral experience is an advantage
- Interdisciplinary skill with an emphasis for biology, especially with microscopy, in vitro and in vivo testing.
- Experience of the analysis of oligonucleotides; quantification, localization, protein interactions
- Experience of biology assays related to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
- Experience of large data set analysis
The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.
Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.
We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.
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