Research fellow in a molecular switch between structural brain plasticity and degeneration: molecular mechanisms
School of Biosciences
A Research Fellow with experience in molecular biology, cell culture and protein biochemistry is sought. The Fellow will create and contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking research activities within a Wellcome Trust funded research programme led by Professor A Hidalgo into a molecular switch between structural brain plasticity and neurodegeneration.
The aim of the project is to investigate how experience and behaviour modify the brain throughout life, the impact that experience has on brain structure and how behaviour as a source of experience can impact further. We aim to discover and test underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate structural brain plasticity and neurodegeneration, and link molecules to cells, neural circuits, neurites, synapses and behaviour.
This project will use the fruit-fly Drosophila as a model organism, both in vivo and in cell culture, as well as in vitro experiments. This post focuses on testing candidate molecular mechanisms that underlie a switch between brain structural plasticity and neurodegeneration. It will use molecular biology, cell culture, protein biochemistry and also genetics and laser scanning microscopy.
Summary of Role
• Work within a Wellcome Trust funded research programme led by Professor A Hidalgo into “A molecular switch between structural brain plasticity and neurodegeneration”.
• Operate within the area of molecular cell biology, cell culture and protein biochemistry, with a focus on neuroscience.
• Operate using also other Drosophila methods, such as bioinformatics, genetics, immunostainings, laser scanning confocal microscopy and imaging.
• Design, plan and execute research experiments in the above areas and obtain research findings. Analyse and interpret research results and findings from the project, using appropriate methodology.
• Supervise and teach other members of the research team (e.g. Master and PhD students) and openly share expertise knowledge with team members (e.g. post-docs).
• Collaborate with other two post-docs working in this research programme, to deliver on project aims.
• Contribute to writing funding bids as and if appropriate, e.g. by generating preliminary data for funding bids by the PI.
• Contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success (such as IP generated), should the opportunity emerge.
• Contribute to the public understanding of neuroscience, by participating in outreach and public engagement activities.
Main Duties / Responsibilities
• Work under the direct supervision of Professor Alicia Hidalgo, to carry out experiments, trouble-shoot, generate and analyse data, to deliver on this Wellcome Trust funded research project aims.
• Focus on, adapt and develop research objectives and engage in the intellectual aspects of the project, to enable cutting edge discoveries, under guidance of Professor Hidalgo.
• Design, plan and execute experiments to generate data for the project and analyse and interpret data.
• Collect research data through a variety of research methods, including scientific experimentation and keeping up with the relevant literature.
• Contribute to developing new experiments, techniques and methods, to trouble shooting and optimising protocols to ensure experiments run smoothly and to find creative solutions to solve scientific problems.
• Periodically and regularly write findings with figures to facilitate preparation of research publications.
• Apply knowledge and critical thinking to develop new intellectual understanding.
• Deal and aim to resolve problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and meeting project deadlines
• Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars and other presentations, together with Prof Hidalgo and other team members. This includes contributing to writing research papers and reviews, attending conferences (which could be abroad) and presenting talks and posters, and giving periodic presentation of progress reports at group meetings.
• Contribute to writing bids for research funding, including the generation of preliminary data for funding bids by the PI.
• Supervise students (undergraduate, Masters and PhD students) on research related work and provide guidance to other lab members.
• Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research, contributing to the lab scientific, cooperative, culture.
• Undertake management/administration arising from research as required (e.g. writing reports, writing lab protocols, curate data in digital platforms, etc).
• Undertake careful and regular data management and curation, of own data and of students’ or other team members’ data that work under their supervision.
• Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration, as and if required.
• Contribute to public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the School, College, University and Hidalgo Lab, under supervision of project leader Prof. A Hidalgo. This can involve presentations/talks for the public, hands-on events for the public such as in the science museum, school visits, videos and zoom interactions, etc.
• Participate in outreach activities to disseminate research findings to a wider public.
• Promote equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
• First degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience or related Life Sciences disciplines and a PhD or near completion in Biochemistry, Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience or related Life Sciences disciplines and/or equivalent research experience, are required.
• Experience working with cell culture, protein biochemistry and/or molecular biology is essential.
• Experience working with Drosophila and/or skills in bioinformatics, immunohystochemistry, laser scanning confocal microscopy and imaging are desirable and could be an advantage.
• High level analytical capability and understanding of the scientific process.
• Independent intellectual critical thinking skills.
• Ability to communicate complex information clearly, in English, in writing and in visually informative presentations, orally and in writing.
• Ability to learn new methods and approaches and contribute to developing new methods, trouble shoot, solve problems and find creative solutions.
• Ability to learn and adapt to meet scientific goals and deliver on project aims.
• Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively.
• Ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and specific research project
• Ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort.
• Excellent team-work attitude, readiness to learn from others and to teach others and contribute to common scientific goals.
• Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day-to-day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly
For informal enquiries contact Professor Alicia Hidalgo at email@example.com
Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working