Research Associate in Synthetic Biology with DNA Nanotechnology

Department of Chemistry

departnent athena award

Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London, UK


  • Posted on: 16th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £40,858 - £48,340
  • REF: NAT00864
  • Closes: 15th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

Job summary

We are seeking to recruit a post-doctoral research associate to work at the exciting interface between DNA nanotechnology and synthetic biology and join an interdisciplinary collaboration between Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, and Cancer Research UK.

You will be developing cutting edge technological solutions based on DNA nanotechnology and lipid-membrane engineering to improve the efficiency of CRISPR-cas9 gene editing in vitro, ultimately benefitting cell-based therapeutics that rely on this critical step.

The project involves the design and characterization of DNA and membrane-based delivery vectors for CRISPR machinery and testing their performance on a number of clinically relevant cell lines. The bulk of the production and characterisation work will be carried out in the group of Dr Lorenzo Di Michele, based in the state-of-the-art Molecular Sciences Research Hub, in the new White City campus of Imperial College. However, this is a highly collaborative project, and you will routinely carry out research visits to the groups of Prof Pietro Cicuta (Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge) and Dr Alasdair Russell (CRUK Cambridge Institute), particularly to carry out advanced microscopy and CRISPR gene editing experiments.

The project is funded by the newly launched EPSRC New Horizons Scheme.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Independently organise and carry out experimental work and data analysis.
  • Report periodically to the supervisory team.
  • Prepare and submit manuscript for publication.
  • Present at international conferences.
  • Day-to-day supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Support the work of others in the group.

Essential requirements

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in experimental DNA nanotechnology, biological physics, biophysical chemistry, synthetic biology or cell biology.
  • Ability to conduct research independently.
  • Ability to supervise master and PhD students.
  • Ability to interface with research from diverse disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology).
  • Experience with relevant experimental techniques (spectrophotometry, microscopy, nucleic acid handling, liposome fabrication, cell handling/culturing)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Further information

This is a full-time, fixed term contract due to start on the 26 th July 2021 for 12 months duration.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045 – £39,183 per annum

Please apply using the online application form.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Lorenzo Di Michele ( )

For technical issues when applying online please email

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published.For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. /

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations:

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email .

Employer Achievements:

company award