Research Associate in Nucleic Acid Delivery & Brain Cancer Immunotherapy

Institute of Pharmaceutical Science

London, Waterloo Campus


  • Posted on: 15th Dec 2021
  • Salary: £38,826 including London weighting Allowance
  • REF: 038665
  • Closes: 10th February 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job Description

A Research Associate position in Nucleic Acid Delivery & Brain Cancer Immunotherapy is available for 12 months initially commencing in January 2022 to join a multidisciplinary and a highly collaborative team working on lipid nanoparticle-mediated co

delivery of immunogenic cell death chemotherapeutics and immune checkpoint blockade nucleic acids to treat brain cancer.

Applicants should have a relevant PhD and preferably post-doctorate experience in one of the following fields: pharmacy, drug delivery, cancer biology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, material/chemical science or any other relevant fields. Holding a Home Office (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Licence or equivalent and experience in handling animals are advantageous.

Experience in one or more of the followings are required to successfully undertake the project: viral and non-viral delivery, lipid nanoparticle formulation, nucleic acid delivery, cancer immunotherapy, primary cell culture, stem cell culture, molecular biology techniques (namely PCR, flow cytometry and DNA/protein gels), neuroscience, orthotopic and humanised tumour mouse models, organ bio-distribution and pharmacokinetic studies and in vivo imaging. The position is funded by Brain Research UK.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate ability of independent thinking, engage in collaborative projects internally and externally. This is a highly attractive opportunity for mentoring an early career researcher aspiring to develop a track record in academia. Ability to manage projects and demonstrate organised administrative skills are essential. The applicant will co-supervise MPharm/MSc students.

This post will be based at The Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London, and will be part of a large multidisciplinary team of scientists of different research backgrounds. Performing experiments in other London-based institutions is required. The applicant will report progress periodically to Professor Khuloud Al-Jamal and collaborate with co-investigators and collaborators of the project.

The contract is for 12 months with possibility for renewal upto 3 years subjected to availability of funds and successful delivery of the project objectives/milestones.

This job will be offered on a fixed term contract for 12 months

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

Key responsibilities

  • Prepare and characterise lipid nanoparticles co-encapsulating drugs and nucleic acids
  • Coordinate with neurosurgeons to acquire human tissue samples for further subculturing and xenotransplantation
  • Perform cell culture studies using cell lines and patients’ tumour tissues
  • Characterise immune cell death biomarkers and gene silencing at cellular and molecular levels in vitro and in vivo
  • Prepare a humanised mouse model of brain cancer
  • Undertake surgical implantation of tumour cells in mouse brain
  • Monitor tumour growth delays and survival studies
  • Perform immune cell phenotyping in tumour tissues by flow cytometry
  • Supervise MPharm/MSc students and co-supervise PhD students
  • Maintain records of animal use and submit annual return form to the Home Office
  • Contribute to grant writing
  • Submit periodic report to the funder
  • Disseminate research findings through writing research articles and present at international conferences
  • Contribute to the agile and friendly working environment within the group

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • PhD in drug delivery, immunology, cancer biology, bioengineering a relevant field.
  • Cell culture experience
  • Experience in cell and molecular biology experimentation techniques (PCR, FACS, gels, Western blotting, Immunohistochemistry)
  • Experience in performing high quality biological research
  • Experience in writing reports and scientific articles based on results obtained
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team and supervise students
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Willingness to work with animals more specifically surgical implantation of brain cancer cells/tissues
  • Willingness to undertake further training as appropriate and to adopt new procedures as and when required

Desirable criteria

  • Nanoparticle formulation and characterization
  • Experience in brain drug delivery
  • Experience in flow cytometry analysis for multiple biomarker analysis
  • Experience in immunological profiling of cells/tissues
  • Experience in cancer biology
  • Experience in cancer immunotherapy
  • Experience in patient tissues handling and culturing
  • Hold a Home Office (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Licence or equivalent
  • Hands-on experience with in vivo models
  • Establishment of mouse tumour models (non-surgical/surgical)
  • Ability to manage (financially and administratively) a research program under the guidance of the Principal Investigator
  • Ability to write grants
  • Ability to manage Home Office Project Licence and Personal Licences
  • Competence in IT skills and Internet

This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.

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