Research Assistant

Job summary

A Postgraduate research assistant position is available to join the laboratory of Professor Gloria Rudenko in the Department of Life Sciences based in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building of Imperial College London. We investigate the molecular biology of African trypanosomes, with a particular focus on the epigenetic control of gene expression. Trypanosomes are single-celled eukaryotes which are easily manipulated in vitro. They provide an...

Job listing information

  • Reference NAT00734
  • Date posted 29 July 2020
  • Closing date 30 August 2020

Job description

Job summary

A Postgraduate research assistant position is available to join the laboratory of Professor Gloria Rudenko in the Department of Life Sciences based in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building of Imperial College London.

We investigate the molecular biology of African trypanosomes, with a particular focus on the epigenetic control of gene expression. Trypanosomes are single-celled eukaryotes which are easily manipulated in vitro. They provide an experimentally amenable system for studying gene expression in a disease-causing organism.  Trypanosomes are protected by a dense Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) coat, which is expressed from a gene located in one of multiple telomeric VSG expression site transcription units.  Expression sites are transcribed at an extremely high rate, allowing the trypanosome to express large amounts of coat protein from a single-copy gene.

We would like to understand how the VSG expression sites are turned on and off, and the mechanism behind the stringent restriction that ensures that only one expression site is kept active at a time (Budzak et al PNAS 2019 116:33 16561-16570).  In addition, we would like to understand how silent areas of the trypanosome genome are kept inactive, and how transcriptional control, including the epigenetic control of VSG expression is mediated.  We would like to investigate the role of epigenetic gene control mechanisms including chromosome interactions, epigenetic modifications and nuclear positioning. 

These questions will be investigated using molecular approaches including genetic modification of trypanosomes (gene knockouts and modification using CRISPR-Cas9), RNA interference (RNAi), ChIP, chromosome conformation capture, and super-resolution microscopy techniques.   There is the potential possibility for enrolling for a PhD degree while employed in this position.

Duties and responsibilities


  • To acquire and interpret research data and take initiative in the planning of research.

  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings.

  • Function independently as a research scientist with the ability to take initiative.

  • Draft publications and prepare them for submission to refereed journals.

Essential requirements


  • Undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Molecular Biology or Biochemistry

  • An MSc (or equivalent) in Molecular Biology is highly desirable.


You must be able to demonstrate the following:



  • Experience in investigating the mechanistic molecular biology of any experimental system.

  • Experience in a broad range of techniques including as many as possible of the following: Nucleic acid and protein analysis, flow cytometry, sterile cell culture and transfection, immunofluorescence microscopy,qPCR.

  • Evident interest in infectious diseases research.

  • Interest in the regulation of gene expression.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • An ability to organise your own work with minimal supervision.

Further information

This is a full time, fixed term position until the 31st of January 2024.

Informal enquiries are encouraged to Professor Gloria Rudenko via email at gloria.rudenko@imperial.ac.uk.

For technical queries when applying online, contact recruitment@imperial.ac.uk.  

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.

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.

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.