Research Assistant - Biology NATA 1427

Updated: 24 days ago
Location: Harwell, ENGLAND
Deadline: 27 Dec 2020

View Vacancy -- Research Assistant - Biology NATA 1427
Open Date
25/11/2020, 08:30
Close Date
27/12/2020, 23:55

NATA

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 - 5

Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire

£25,198 - £30,762

Permanent

Science

Full Time

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 Role

The Research assistant will be critical in operating the NATA oligonucleotide in vitro and in vivo validation and pharmacology platform. The individual will operate and maintain all cell culture equipment and materials, undertake biological validation test, lead compounds screen and assess toxicology maker indicators. Other general duties required are to ensure smooth running of the NATA biology lab i.e. cell types database implementation, experimental materials traceability, consumables inventory, equipment maintenance. 

The post holder will assist Junior/Senior Researchers on the high industry standard validation of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics for various translational and collaborative projects. They will report to the Head of department.


Responsibilities
  • Perform the screen, hit validation and toxicology assessment of several classes of Nucleic Acid Therapeutic in an industrial and standardized way
  • Take a proactive approach to learning and implementing new techniques and approaches
  • Maintain, implement and culture the NATA cell line library (immortalized, primary, patient tissues) and generate stable cell lines as necessary
  • Assist on in vivo based studies including cell sorting and microscopy/image analysis
  • Assist in the preparation of RNA libraries and in the running of the RNA sequencing facility
  • Manage instruments, reagents and biological resources efficiently
  • Support Scientists carrying out methods and validation of cell- and animal-based assays of new Nucleic Acid Therapeutics including new conjugates
  • Troubleshoot and maintain procedures and instrumentation
  • Carry out target validation and efficacy assessment (using both mRNA/protein quantification methods) and analyse/report data (verbal and written report)
  • Keep excellent scientific records and implement databases
  • Present work internally
  • Contribute to lab meetings
  • Maintain a good knowledge of the relevant literature and of the wider field and actively promote this to the group
  • Support Junior and Senior Scientists as required
  • Effectively manage resources
  • Support the Lab Manager undertaking lab management duties such as lab and equipment maintenance, H&S administration, inventory, databases


Essential selection criteria
  • Hold a relevant degree in Biology or related field
  • Experience of working in a laboratory, preferably translational and related to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
  • Expertise in tissue culture including culture of cells with different characteristics, primary cells, cell lines and genetically engineered cell lines
  • Experience in cell-based screening assays such as ELISA, luciferase, fluorescence and western and northern blotting
  • Experience in primers design and RT-PCR/qPCR protocols
  • Experience in high throughput cell-based screening assays
  • Experience with Nucleic Acid technologies including antisense and RNA interference is highly desirable
  • Fundamental knowledge in gene transcription, protein translation, RNA splicing and the regulation of gene expression
  • Experience in data analysis and interpretation
  • Computer literacy is essential for the analysis, recording and communication of results
  • Ability to manage resources
  • Ability to analyse data
  • Demonstrate ability to write scientifically
  • 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
  • Good communication skills and effective engagement with colleagues, collaborators or general public

  


Desirable selection criteria
  • Interdisciplinary interests with an emphasis for chemistry or pharmacology
  • Experience in tissue/serum/urine analysis
  • Experience of the analysis of oligonucleotides; quantification, localization, protein interactions
  • Experience of large data set analysis
  • Experience of database management
  • Experience of platform management

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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