Research Associate CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Edit

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 17th Jun 2021
  • Salary: £30,942.00 - £40,322.00 per annum
  • REF: 8961
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • 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: £30,942.00 – £40,322.00per annum

Closing Date:Thursday24 June 2021

The Role

You will be part of a team based in the Newcastle Cancer Centre, in the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit and will focus on validating and identifying new drug targets for oncology treatment. You will be an experienced researcher (preferably in cancer biology) with expertise in contemporary CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, and molecular biology techniques that enable the ability to design, implement and deliver novel strategies to analyse drug targets.

Experiments will involve manipulation of selected drug targets using CRISPR knock-out, knock-in or CRISPRi and CRISPRa strategies in tumour cell line models and an assessment of the consequences of inhibition using signalling pathway readouts and phenotypic assays (e.g. proliferation, apoptosis). You will also require verification of drug target expression in preclinical and clinical tumour samples by a variety of methods.

You will be required to work within a large multi-disciplinary team that includes biologists, structural biologists and chemists.

This is a full time fixed term post available until 31 March 2022.

For informal enquiries, please contact ProfSteve Wedge via email

As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles. These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.

Furhter informaion about the Newcastle Cancer centre can be found here.

Key Accountabilities

  • Use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing techniques to modify target proteins of interest. Experience of using this technique is essential, including design of gRNAs for approaches including knock-in/knock-out and the introduction of point mutations through different editing strategies.
  • Perform transient and stable transfection of cell lines with siRNA/shRNA or reporter constructs. Familiarity with the design and use of siRNA/shRNA, and constitutive and inducible systems is required.
  • Use of cloning strategies to design and express mutant target proteins in cells.
  • Measure the expression and activity of proteins of interest in cell line models, using western blotting, flow cytometry, ELISA, immunohistochemistry and other techniques.
  • Measure the expression of mRNA in cell line models, with and without treatments. Some previous experience of generating and analyzing mRNA datasets is required. Experience in using RNAseq is desirable.
  • Interrogate proprietary and publically available datasets of mRNA expression, DNA copy number, mutations and re-arrangements, from both clinical samples and tumour cell lines, to examine target expression in disease and assist the selection of appropriate model systems.
  • Use tissue culture to quantify endpoints (cell proliferation/survival, apoptosis, functional readouts) and have ability to develop and use additional phenotypic and mechanistic assays to investigate the effect of target manipulation on tumour cell biology.
  • Carry out meticulous recording, storage and archiving of data, and perform statistical and data analyses to produce robust and reproducible data
  • Present results at internal and external meetings
  • Provide assistance with writing publications
  • Assist in supervision of technical staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory
  • Contribute to laboratory meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars, journal club
  • Perform risk assessments and maintain safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH) in consultation with academic staff
  • Organise and assist in general laboratory duties as required (e.g. purchasing, equipment maintenance).

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Substantial experience in the design and use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing strategies to knock-down and knock-in genes or introduce mutations into protein targets in mammalian cells. Experience with the design and implementation of inducible CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing strategies in vivo is also key. In addition, experience in using CRISPRa and CRISPRi is required. Significant practical experience of using each of these techniques is essential.
  • Expertise in mammalian cell culture, Western blotting, PCR, transfection methodologies, construct design, subcloning, site-directed mutagenesis, use of siRNA/shRNA, ChIP-seq, the analysis of mRNA and genomic datasets, and immunohistochemistry (with image analysis).
  • Significant post-doctoral research experience in an academic or industry setting.
  • Experience in designing and delivering research projects, project management and ability to lead small research teams.
  • Enthusiastic, flexible and hard working with the ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • Excellent oral communication and writing skills. Evidence of work of at least national quality and capacity to write high quality reports with accompanying analyses and data critique.
  • Presentation of work at national and international scientific meetings and publication of work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • A high level of analytical skills and capacity for original thought.
  • The ability to identify and develop new technologies and methods relevant to the post.


  • Experience in using RNAseq
  • Previous experience of working in collaboration with Industrial partners
  • Leadership and supervision of staff and students (PhD, MSc, BSc).
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Clear commitment to a career in research
  • Willingness to undertake work outside of normal working hours
  • Flexibility to participate fully in multi-centre collaborations


  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject – preferably biological discipline or pharmacology.
  • A PhD in the area of cancer research, cell biology or drug discovery.
  • Masters qualification in a relevant subject – Desirable.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff 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.

Requisition ID: 8961

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