Research Associate

Job summary

Applications are invited for a British Heart Foundation-funded position of Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Endothelial Homeostasis research group, led by Prof. Anna Randi, to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control organotypic endothelial phenotypes and function. Currently Head of Vascular Science in NHLI, Prof. Randi leads a team of basic and clinician scientists addressing different aspects of endothelial biology,...

Job listing information

  • Reference MED02006
  • Date posted 7 September 2020
  • Closing date 7 October 2020

Job description

Job summary

Applications are invited for a British Heart Foundation-funded position of Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Endothelial Homeostasis research group, led by Prof. Anna Randi, to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control organotypic endothelial phenotypes and function. Currently Head of Vascular Science in NHLI, Prof. Randi leads a team of basic and clinician scientists addressing different aspects of endothelial biology, producing world-leading research.  (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/a.randi/research.html)

This project focuses on one of the most important questions currently investigated in vascular biology: the molecular determinants of organotypic endothelial heterogeneity. The project follows our recent discoveries (Shah et al, Nature Comms 2017; Dufton et al, Nature Comms 2017; Peghaire et al, Nature Comms 2019) on how systemic loss of endothelial homeostasis causes vascular and tissue dysfunction, including spontaneous bleeding and thrombosis, in an organotypic manner. The model we use is endothelial-specific loss of the master endothelial transcription factor ERG, which is essential for vascular development, angiogenesis and homeostasis. This pathway may also play a role in the pathogenesis of microvascular thrombosis found in severe COVID19 patients, an area under investigation in the lab.  

The aim of this study is to understand how epigenetic and microenvironmental cues influence the phenotype of endothelial cells, focussing on permeability and thrombus formation as functional readouts. Models include a perfused 3D microvascular chip developed in the Randi laboratory which allows modification of the microenvironment. The effect of co-culture, flow and ECM on endothelial cells’ phenotype and function will be investigated using single-cell qPCR and RNA-Seq and 3D high-resolution imaging.  Endothelial cells isolated from controls and patients with vascular disorders will be used to develop personalised disease models for molecular studies and drug testing.

Duties and responsibilities

You will be responsible for carrying out in vitro studies on endothelial cells, in mono and co-cultures with pericytes and with cells from selected tissues such as liver, intestine, lung. 3D cultures on a perfused microvascular chip model will be used.  You will use live imaging for permeability and thrombus formation studies; you will isolate cells and process them for molecular profiling with single cell transcriptomics. You will work in a multidisciplinary collaborative team of researchers with expertise ranging from molecular and cell biology to pharmacology, bioinformatics and bioengineering. The environment is ideal for a candidate who is keen to work in a team and bring new exciting ideas that span multiple approaches and disciplines.

Essential requirements

You should have a PhD in a relevant biological discipline and have experience in studying endothelial cells. A strong background using in vitro models of endothelial cell cultures and function is essential. Familiarity with basic cell and molecular biology techniques is essential. Previous experience in co-culture, 3D vascular models and single cell transcriptomics is desirable. The post will require collaboration with other groups both within and outside the department, and the ability to coordinate research projects with colleagues inside and outside the College. Enthusiasm, drive and a passion for science are essential for this position.

Further information

The role is full time and fixed term until 26 March 2022.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477 - £38,566 per annum.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Prof Anna Randi – a.randi@imperial.ac.uk.

For technical issues when applying online please email recruitment@imperial.ac.uk.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

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About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

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It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.