The King’s College London Centre for Medical Engineering Imaging Bioresource is seeking an experienced technician to support sample collection and processing. Using state-of-the art in vivo imaging technologies, our Centre generates tens of thousands of examinations per annum across multiple disease areas. In order to maximise the use of the data we produce, we are creating a bioresource to store the images alongside clinical information and biological specimens (including blood, saliva and tissue). Using our expertise in machine learning/artificial intelligence, we are also building a data analytics platform to allow faster more effective data retrieval and data aggregation, unifying our existing databases and enabling the incorporation of different scanning modalities, clinical and biological specimens and data.
The post holder will be highly motivated and approachable, working closely with the Bioresource Manager and engaging with research groups working in King’s College London and the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. The post holder will be expected to work in compliance with ICH-GCP and Human Tissue Act (HTA) guidelines and the NHS Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care. One of the post holder’s main responsibilities will be to co-ordinate the collection and processing of samples from patients with neurological, cardiovascular and oncological conditions who are being treated at St Thomas’ NHS Trust and who have consented to participate in the Imaging Bioresource. All tasks will be carried out to the highest quality and within the guidelines set out by current legislation and internal procedures. The post holder is also expected to facilitate and participate in research programmes in the Wellcome /EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering, advising on protocols, approvals and study design to ensure compliance with H&S and HTA regulations and to maximise the impact of the research and the bioresource.
The post holder is a member of the School’s professional services team, providing high quality technical support to the School and specific support to its education/research activities. The post holder will:
• Use a broad range of technical or practical skills and a well-developed working knowledge of technical or scientific practices and procedures acquired through on-the-job experience and/or vocational training, applying knowledge in the context of new areas
• Provide a range of services where there are established service standards and requirements
• Manage own workload, responding to changing priorities and an evolving environment/context, maximising the efficiency of the technical support being provided and resolving problems as they arise
• Oversee local facilities and operations ensuring efficient use of resources, installing, monitoring, maintaining and securing technical equipment systems and software and controlling small budgets, stocks/store, equipment and supplies
• Implement and monitor compliance with regulations, guidance and legislation governing the area of work and responsibility, including Health & Safety adapting the working environment to reduce the level of hazard
• Forge relationships with colleagues in the School, Faculty, university and external to the university, in order to build relationships, disseminate information, coordinate and deliver the required support
• Provide colleagues with training, advice and guidance as required on the use of equipment and facilities, writing and speaking in a clear and precise way
• Provide advice and guidance and, where appropriate, training on university policies, processes and where required, source information and support for colleagues to facilitate their work
• Use well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills to identify trends and patterns, using appropriate techniques and procedures to do this, to inform timely and considered decisions with an impact of 6 months to a year and occasionally with a longer-term impact
• Facilitate an inclusive culture and ethos across the School teams, ensuring that Professional Services staff work in partnership with academic staff in departments/ centres/ institutes and Professional Services colleagues in the Faculty team and functional networks
• Create an ethos of collaboration and collegiality, establishing effective communications and relationships, and encouraging staff to work in partnership with colleagues across the university, to eliminate potential barriers, enhance collegiality and develop best practice through actively contributing to King’s initiatives, including professional networks and working
• Participate in cross-School/ Faculty/ university projects and initiatives for up to 10% FTE
• Engage actively in Continuing Professional Development and training initiatives, in line with the Technician Commitment and Research Concordat for a minimum of 10 days pro rata per year
The post holder will report to the Bioresource Manager.
The detail on tasks and responsibilities of the post will be provided in the job’s work plan, which will form the basis of the post holder’s PDR discussion.
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, Knowledge, & Experience
i. Minimum level 3 qualification, e.g. A levels, AS levels, International Baccalaureate diploma or other Level 3 qualification, plus work experience in a relevant technical/scientific post OR Considerable knowledge and skills gained through work experience in a relevant technical or scientific post
ii. Evidence of an active commitment to career development including professional registration, such as RSciTech or RSci
iii. A broad range of technical or practical skills and a well-developed working knowledge of technical/scientific practices and procedures with the ability to apply learnt techniques/skills to the work context
iv. Good communication, orally and in writing, along with strong interpersonal and influencing/behavioural skills
v. Good computer skills including Microsoft Office packages
vi. Working knowledge of GDPR, Information Governance, Health & Safety and biobanking regulations governing area of work, including ISO, GCP and HTA
vii. Solutions-focused self-starter, with strong planning and organisational skills, an ability to manage competing priorities and who can work with minimal supervision
viii. Proactive and responsive to internal contacts in immediate area and across King’s and contacts outside the university (e.g. suppliers, colleagues in other HE institutions) in order to build relationships
ix. A commitment to an excellent student experience and concern for staff and student wellbeing, along with a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
x. Able and willing to provide support beyond core hours, as required
xi. Knowledge of good ethical practice in particular in relation to the consent required to store and use biological samples
xii. Experience of handling, processing and maintaining tissues and sample records in accordance with HTA regulations and internal SOPs
xiii. To have the skills and experience to handle and process samples with minimal supervision. In particular, the processing of whole blood and handling of saliva and formalin fixed tissue.
xv. To have experience in auditing on a regular basis, resolve any issues that may arise and put measures in place to prevent reoccurrence
xvi. Experience in supervising/advising less experienced colleagues, monitoring and providing feedback on performance
xvii. Knowledge of biobanking, previous experience in sample management or similar post
xviii. To have experience in informed consent procedures, maintaining patient confidentiality and anonymisation practices
xix. To have experience in liaising to organise and confirm the execution of material transfer agreements, service level agreements and other necessary documents for sharing tissue samples and data
xx. Experience in coordinating the shipment and transfer of bioresource tissue samples/imaging data to internal/external collaborators ensuring sample integrity and traceability
xxi. Be able to demonstrate autonomy, critical thinking and the ability to make improvements to internal processes and procedures
About the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering
The Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering is based at the St Thomas’ Hospital campus. By combining expertise in biomedical and clinical research with excellence in the underpinning sciences of imaging engineering & physics, computational and mathematical approaches and imaging chemistry, we will deliver impact that improves the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric, oncological and cardiovascular diseases. As a large multi-disciplinary research Centre, we foster a strong cooperative research culture. Our established links with industrial partners, access to cutting edge facilities, and the central location within a major hospital campus creates an exciting, synergistic environment where the most challenging questions can be addressed. In addition to producing world-leading outputs, the Centre infrastructure accelerates translation to clinical benefit and industrial uptake. The Centre acts as a focus for recruitment of leading international talent and training of the next generation of research leaders, enhancing excellence. An important component of the Centre’s activities is also to develop public and patient engagement in the Centre’s research, highlighting its impact and societal implications.
About the CME Engineering Imaging Bioresource
The Centre for Medical Engineering Imaging Bioresource will provide a resource of clinical data, clinical images (e.g. MRI/PET scans) and biological samples (blood, saliva, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue) to be used in medical research with the following research focus:
• Improving long-term neurological outcomes of sick infants and children and developing biomarkers to stratify and optimise treatment in neuropsychiatric disease.
• Improving outcomes of patients with chronic cardiac conditions, particularly structural and ischaemic heart disease, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.
• Improving the care of patients with cancer with better stratification and improved treatment selection, as well as identifying ineffective treatments early so they can be changed.
The Centre for Medical Engineering Imaging focuses on the science and engineering of medical imaging. Scientific and technological breakthroughs in this area have changed our understanding of disease and clinical practice, and have significant potential for further transformative impact. Our ultimate aim is to improve the care and outcomes of patients with neurological, cardiovascular and oncological conditions.
We aim to deliver this by providing the infrastructure needed to deliver strong, grant-funded research through building a unique Imaging Bioresource with novel ways of extracting and presenting information.
We wish to maximise the use of the data we produce by creating an Imaging Bioresource for the collection of images along with clinical information and biological specimens (e.g. blood, saliva, tissue) for analyses.
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.
This is a full time contract until 27 April 2022