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Research Associate

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 16th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £31,406 - £33,309, rising to £40,927per annum
  • REF: 11762
  • Closes: 30th September 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £31,406 – £33,309, rising to £40,927per annum

Closing Date: 30 September 2021

The Role

We are seeking a motivated researcher to join the Lako group in the Biosciences Institute to work on identification of genes playing a key role in retinal progenitor cell (RPC) specification and their functional validation in vitro. This BBSRC funded work follows from our integrated bulk transcriptional analysis of human developing retina (PMID: 30696714) and single cell analysis of pluripotent stem cell derived retinal organoids (PMID: 30548510). The project involves collaborations with the Human Developmental Biology Resource, Genomics Core Facility and Bioinformatic Support Unit.

A scientific background on pluripotent stem cell differentiation and retinal biology will be essential and applicants with record of accomplishment and expertise in gene editing in pluripotent stem cells and retinal organoids are preferred.

This post is available from the 18th December 2021 for 15.5 months.

Informal enquiries can contact Professor Linda Lako (majlinda.lako@ncl.ac.uk)

Key Accountabilities

  • Perform the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to 3D laminated retina
  • Participate in scRNA- an ATAC-Seq data analysed and identify key genes involved in retinal progenitor cell specification and commitment
  • Validate the results of single cell analyses using immunohistochemistry and/or RNA-Scope
  • Perform genetic manipulation of key selected genes in retinal organoids and assess their function using immunohistochemistry, single cell RNA-Seq and electrophysiology
  • Regular liaison with the Principal Investigator, researchers working on retinal and stem cell differentiation team and collaborators to ensure high quality of research and timely delivery of the project goals
  • Perform data extraction and analysis and ensure full compliance with existing ethical regulations as appropriate
  • Lead on the production of high level scientific information including analysing, writing and presenting reports and manuscripts relevant to the transplantation work
  • Continuously review the literature and technology relevant to the project and ensure that the outputs of the project are positioned appropriately in relation to other on-going work.
  • Supervise BSc, MRes and BSc project students

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Knowledge of retinal development
  • Experience in generation of retinal organoids from pluripotent stem cells
  • Experience in retinal tissue processing and immunohistochemistry or RNA-Scope
  • Experience in situ gene editing


  • Knowledge of single cell analyses and applications
  • Knowledge of inducible gene manipulation in pluripotent stem cells and retinal organoids
  • Evidence of a record of research including publication and presentation of data at conferences

Attributes and Behaviour

  • High level laboratory skills
  • Excellent organisation
  • Attention to detail
  • Quick to learn new skills
  • IT literate and competent
  • Able to communicate effectively at all levels
  • Able to analyse and interpret data
  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Evidence of good oral communication skills; flexible independent working; initiative; and ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Able to prioritise key task and meet deadlines
  • Willingness to work outside normal hours and weekends as necessary
  • Highly Motivated and enthusiastic


  • Experience of supervision of junior staff members
  • Experience of managing/organising lab


  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a science, medicine or health-related subject
  • PhD in a relevant subject area

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all. You can learn more about what is available here on ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 11762

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