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Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Comprehensive Cancer Centre

London, Guy's Campus


  • Posted on: 15th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £38,826-£45,649 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 032247
  • Closes: 30th September 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join Prof Simon Ameer-Beg’s Bioimaging and Biophysics group within the Comprehensive Cancer Centre at King’s College London. The project will develop an isotropic resolution fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope with application to a range of cell biology and bioengineering projects targeted at mitochondrial metabolism in neurons and astrocytes in bioengineered substrates (in Collaboration with Dr Andrea Serio, Francis Crick Institute). You will join a multidisciplinary team to realise this goal within a leading fluorescence lifetime imaging development group.

The successful applicant must have attained (or be close to completion) a PhD degree in Physics, Engineering, or related subject and must have prior experience in both optical design and microscopy development. Previous knowledge and experience in the development of microscopy platforms (i.e. light sheet, confocal and/or multi-photon) are essential for this position. The candidate will be required to utilise high powered femtosecond laser sources, integrate diffractive optical elements for beam-shaping, assist in the design of bespoke optics, and incorporate state-of-the-art detector technologies into a novel optical microscope.

The appointee will be expected to work in an interdisciplinary team at the life sciences interface, co-ordinating with biological collaborators and providing leadership to junior researchers. They will be responsible for the delivery of internationally competitive research with emphasis placed on highly motivated, team-oriented, creative individuals able to independently tackle original scientific projects.

Applicants with additional experience of biological cell and tissue imaging and/or experience of fluorescence lifetime imaging are encouraged to apply. Additional experience in programming (Python, Matlab, C++) and image data analysis is also desirable. Excellent communication skills are essential, and you should be keen to develop project/team leadership skills, and to engage with other project members in physical and life sciences. There may also be additional opportunities to engage in a range of complementary projects active in Prof Ameer-Beg’s group, to further explore and grow your own research interests and portfolio.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 12 months in the first instance

This is a full-time post – 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Design and construction of advanced fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope for 3D Cell culture imaging
  • To work with others in the broader research environment to facilitate in the functional imaging of 3D tissue models
  • Develop data analysis methods appropriate for 3D imaging
  • To write publications for appropriate scientific journals and to present research findings at scientific meetings
  • Support and nurture staff to independence to achieve their potential whilst further developing your leadership skills
  • Participate in project meetings, including symposia and workshops.
  • Collaborate with physicists and biologists at KCL
  • Write up results of your own research
  • Liaise with internal and external research colleagues and support staff on research matters
  • Communicate material of a specialist or highly technical nature
  • Plan own research and co-ordinate work with that of others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Make use of novel and innovative research techniques and methods
  • Deal with problems which may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
  • Contribute to collaborative decisions making affecting the work of the tea
  • Actively participate as a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Collaborate with academic colleagues on areas of shared research interest
  • Attend and contribute to relevant meetings
  • To demonstrate a willingness to develop personal objectives via regular appraisals with an academic mentor

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, and experience

Essential criteria

1. BSc in Physics, engineering or related subject

2. Ph.D. in Optics, Physics, engineering or related subject (either completed or submitted)

3. Highly skilled in both optical and mechanical design

4. Knowledge and experience in the construction of bespoke optical microscopy platforms (i.e. fluorescence light-sheet, confocal and multi-photon)

5. Flexible and collaborative

6. Willingness to learn new skills

7. Ability to work independently and as part of a team

8. Commitment to high quality research

9. Ability to prioritise work

10. Communication with researchers in other fields

Desirable criteria

1. Programming and computational analysis

2. Experience of Fluorescence lifetime imaging

3. Experience of biological imaging

4. Good presentation skills

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Further information

Recognised as one of the leading cancer research centres in Europe, the Comprehensive cancer centre where this fellowship will be based has a multidisciplinary research portfolio which spans the entire patient cancer journey. By fostering a culture of innovation in cancer patient care through research excellence, we aim to break down traditional clinical and academic boundaries and draw together members of the Division and our associated major NHS partners to achieve a fully integrated cancer research pathway. This is reflected in the coordinated strategic planning that provides the foundations for our KHP Cancer Centre.

The Centre’s core strengths are in cancer genomics, haemato-oncology, breast cancer biology, epidemiology, cancer cell biology and gastro-intestinal cancer. It plays host to a number of specialist research centres; including a Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit, Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Together with the resources of our Bio-Banks, the fluid interaction between the various departments provides us with substantial capabilities for the delivery of translational research activity that serves to define future pathways for the treatment of cancer.

We are focused on recruiting and supporting the highest calibre staff and promote equality of opportunity by ensuring that current and prospective members of staff are treated solely on the basis of merit, ability, and potential without any discrimination. We promote a positive working, learning, and social environment free from prejudice, harassment, or bullying. We are actively involved in the Athena SWAN initiative, a charter which recognises excellence in an institution’s commitment to gender equality in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) subjects, and we obtained an Athena SWAN Bronze award in 2015 in recognition of our activities. More information about the charter can be found here: http://www.ecu.ac.uk/equality-charters/athena-swan/. We expect all members of staff to engage with and apply the principles of Athena SWAN.

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