Research Assistant

Job summary

The advertised position will be working in Dr Mohamed Shamji’s research group within National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Inflammation Repair and Development, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine.  Allergic rhinitis (AR) affects up to 40% of the global population and pose a huge economic and social burden. Whilst AR can be controlled temporarily with symptom-reliever such as anti-histamines and corticosteroids, a small...

Job listing information

  • Reference MED03399
  • Date posted 14 September 2022
  • Closing date 12 October 2022

Job description

Job summary

The advertised position will be working in Dr Mohamed Shamji’s research group within National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Inflammation Repair and Development, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine.  Allergic rhinitis (AR) affects up to 40% of the global population and pose a huge economic and social burden. Whilst AR can be controlled temporarily with symptom-reliever such as anti-histamines and corticosteroids, a small proportion of sufferers do not respond to treatment. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is indicated in these patients. Despite their efficacy, AIT is associated with long-term treatment regimen which is associated with low patient compliance and also occasional severe reactions.

The post-holder will be involved in a very exciting and fast-paced clinical trial study, in collaboration with Revolo Biotherapeutics, to investigate the immunomodulatory properties of a novel peptide that can be used the treatment of allergic rhinitis in AIT. The post-holder will be involved in the collection of clinical samples at multiple timepoints during the clinical trial study and will be involved in performing all relevant immunological and cellular assays to allow assessment of the efficacy of treatment. This will include biobanking of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), basophil activation and histamine release assessment using flow cytometry and in vitro cell culture assays. Flexible attitude towards work is hugely required in this role due to the nature of clinical sample timepoints for the study. The overarching objective is to define the mechanism of action of the novel AIT product and its efficacy.  

Duties and responsibilities

Under the direction of the line manager, you will be involved in:

  • Planning and executing experiments using the following techniques:
    • PBMC isolation
    • In vitro cell culture
    • Cell staining and flow cytometry analysis
    • ELISA
    • DNA/RNA extraction and quantification
  • The collection, preparation, processing and storage of samples
  • Isolation, culturing and experimentation with primary cells
  • Maintenance of cell line cultures and purifying primary cells

The role will also involve other duties that include:

  • General laboratory administrative duties including ordering
  • Maintaining stocks of cell lines, virus and routine supplies
  • Documentation and analysis of experimental data
  • Participation in local laboratory meetings
  • Assisting to make sure good laboratory practice is in place
  • Assist with presentation of results to the group, collaborators, and to the research community in general
  • Assist with preparation of grant reports and scientific publications

Essential requirements


  • Hold a master’s degree (MSc or MRes) in life sciences or equivalent relevant laboratory based experience

  • Previous experience with working with clinical samples and whole blood samples

  • Practical experience with working with peripheral blood

  • Experience in collection, preparation, processing and/or storage of samples

  • Experience in laboratory-based research

  • Experience with GraphPad Prism, FlowJo analysis and unbiased clustering tools (viSNE and FlowSOM)

Further information

This is a Full Time and Fixed Term post for 6 months initially based at the South Kensington Campus, London.

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/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research

Documents

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.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

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.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating discrimination. All employees are expected to follow the Imperial Values & Behaviours framework. Our values are: 

  • Respect              
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence          
  • Integrity
  • Innovation

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

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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