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Research Fellow

Department of Clinical and Movement Neurosciences

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UCL, Gower Street, London, UK


  • Posted on: 06th Jan 2022
  • Salary: £36,770 per annum
  • REF: 1881582
  • Closes: 19th January 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time, Part Time

Duties and Responsibilities

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow in the Department of Clinical and Movement Neurosciences, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. The project seeks to understand the pathophysiological basis of the interaction between metabolism and neurodegeneration, how insulin resistance in the brain may be detected, tracked in chronic disease, and which therapies may reverse these changes. We have conducted two clinical trials showing that people with Parkinsons treated with exenatide the first-in-class Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 agonist (GLP-1A) – demonstrated clinical benefits that persisted long after the drug was stopped in comparison to untreated patients (Lancet, 2017). Our work has generated global interest in the exciting possibility that these drugs may be the first disease modifying therapy for Parkinsons, and an NIHR-funded Phase 3 trial (NCT04232969) is underway to confirm these findings.

The Gandhi laboratory utilises a range of human model systems, including patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms that cause Parkinsons disease. Approaches used in the laboratory include single cell and organellar live imaging, super resolution microscopy, single cell, bulk and spatial transcriptomics, and gene editing approaches to understand mechanisms that drive disease and drug discovery. The successful applicant will use a wide range of cutting-edge techniques in cellular biology, and additionally the in vitro to in vivo translation of biomarkers. The post holder will use a range of molecular and functional approaches to study these pathways in iPS derived neurons and astrocytes.

The post is available immediately and is funded by grants from CureParkinsons and the MRC awarded to Professor Sonia Gandhi until 31 December 2023 in the first instance.

Key Requirements

Applicants should have a PhD (or be close to obtaining) in neurodegeneration or a related subject area and experience in laboratory studies including molecular biology techniques. Experience in EV isolation and characterisation is also a requirement as are an ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines, excellent communication and organisation skills. Experience in cell imaging and acquisition and analysis of omic datasets is desirable, as are experience with iPSCs and directed differentiation and advanced data science skills (coding, modelling).

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at Research Assistant Grade 6B (salary 32,217 – 33,958 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis. If the PhD has not yet been granted, the final accepted version of the thesis must have been submitted to the degree-granting university by the start date in post.

Further Details

A job description and person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

To apply for the vacancy please click on the Apply Now button below.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Samantha Robinson, HR Officer, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, (email: IoN.HRAdmin@ucl.ac.uk).

UCL Taking Action for Equality

We will consider applications to work on a part-time, flexible and job share basis wherever possible.

Closing Date

19 Jan 2022

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment and demonstrable impact in advancing gender equality.

This appointment is subject to UCL Terms and Conditions of Service for Research and Support Staff.

Please use these links to find out more about UCL working life including the benefits we offer and UCL Terms and Conditions related to this job.

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