Research Associate

Job summary

A Research Associate post is available in the research group of Dr. Nikolai Windbichler (https://www.windbichlerlab.org/) working in collaboration with Dr. Angela Meccariello at Imperial College. Our joint research aims to build and improve gene drive systems, based on the use of CRISPR/Cas, as well as apply other genome editing technologies for genetic insect control. Gene drives, a technology we pioneered 10 years ago at Imperial College,...

Job listing information

  • Reference NAT01038
  • Date posted 17 December 2021
  • Closing date 31 January 2022

Job description

Job summary

A Research Associate post is available in the research group of Dr. Nikolai Windbichler (https://www.windbichlerlab.org/) working in collaboration with Dr. Angela Meccariello at Imperial College. Our joint research aims to build and improve gene drive systems, based on the use of CRISPR/Cas, as well as apply other genome editing technologies for genetic insect control. Gene drives, a technology we pioneered 10 years ago at Imperial College, allows the species-specific genetic control of insect disease vectors or devastating insect pests of agriculture by decreasing the reproductive or disease transmission potential of such insect populations. It is a powerful and sustainable possible alternative to the use of pesticides. The lab has achieved several notable successes in recent years and is at the frontier in the field of mosquito and medfly transgenesis and genome editing.

We are looking for highly motivated individual and a team player who has previous experience with Drosophila genetics (or of other insects such as mosquitoes or medflies) and also a strong background in molecular/synthetic biology and is enthusiastic about entering the field of genetic control and gene drives. Some experience with genomics (e.g. RNAseq analysis) is a bonus but not essential.

You will help produce independent and original research as part of a team of researchers and technicians funded by the BBSRC and aimed at building and testing novel types of gene drives in the devastating global agricultural pest species Ceratitis capitata (the medfly) and other pests and also in the Drosophila melanogaster model.

You will design a range of synthetic DNA constructs and test their performance in transgenic insects. You will use genomics to develop tissue-specific drivers for novel gene drive strategies and identify targetable sequences in insect genomes. You will assess the suitability of such traits with regards to insect fitness and perform genetic analyses of transgenic insects to assess the propensity for the Super-mendelian transmission of such constructs on both the individual and population level. The project is part of a wider collaborative network and thus the role will involve a high degree of teamwork and interdisciplinary research.

Duties and responsibilities


  • To perform experiments and to produce data to analyse gene drive constructs

  • To identify and develop suitable techniques, models and methods, for the collection and analysis of data

  • To take initiatives in the planning of research and appropriate experiments

  • To prioritise tasks within agreed work schedule

  • To participate in and organise duties associated with research support, including various laboratory-related rotas

  • To contribute to the preparation of grant reports to funder, scientific publications and regular technical updates.

  • To collaborate with other allied scientists within Imperial College and elsewhere in London and abroad as appropriate.

  • To regularly discuss progress of research projects with members of the Group.

  • To acquire and interpret research data and results.

  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings.

  • To organize and supervise dedicated class activities or practical work for lab members and undergraduate students when required.

  • To present findings to colleagues and at conferences.

  • To promote the reputation of the Group, the Department, and the College.

  • To undertake any necessary training and/or development.

Essential requirements


  • Research Associate: PhD (or equivalent) in Biological Sciences or a related scientific discipline

  • Research Assistant: Near completion of a PhD (or equivalent) in Biological Sciences or a related scientific discipline

  • Demonstrable experience of working with either Drosophila or other insects

  • High level of expertise and skills in molecular/synthetic biology

  • A successful track record of academic publications commensurate with experience

  • Practical experience of working within a highly competitive research environment

  • Good knowledge of insect genetics and transgenesis

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required

  • Ability to work with little supervision and show initiative with research

  • Ability to prioritise tasks and organise work effectively to meet deadlines

  • Ability to keep meticulous and accurate record of research data

  • Ability to work with tight deadlines

  • Drive to tackle and overcome scientific problems

  • Ability to relate well to others and form positive working relationships with a wide range of people

  • Demonstrable analytical capability

  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner

  • Ability to develop and apply new concepts

  • Willingness to temporarily work overseas or travel to collaborating laboratories as required by the project

  • Willingness to work out of normal working hours (including weekends), from time to time, as required by the project

Further information

This is a full time, fixed term position based for 36 months, based at South Kensington Campus.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,694- £39,888 per annum.

 

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: [Nikolai Windbichler] – [n.windbichler@imperial.ac.uk].

 

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 identity, 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.