Research Associate (Cardiff)

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
26 Oct 2021
£33,797 - £40,322 per annum
UK DRI at UK DRI at Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XN
3 years

Dementia is the greatest health challenge of our century. To date there is no way to prevent it or even slow its progression, and there is an urgent need to fill the knowledge gap in our basic understanding of the diseases that cause it. The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the biggest UK initiative driving forward research to fill this gap. The UK DRI at Cardiff is one of 7 UK centres bringing together world-leading scientists to deliver a step-change in the scientific understanding of dementia, generating new targets for drug development, reinvigorating the therapeutic pipeline and helping to transform care. Researchers at the UK DRI at Cardiff interrogate the host of genetic variations linked with neurodegenerative diseases to make new discoveries about disease processes. They use experimental model systems along with a variety of cutting-edge experimental methods and equipment to dissect the biology of many of these genes. Building on the team’s international reputation for complex data analyses, they develop and apply advanced computational approaches that enable them to make sense of huge datasets generated by complex experiments.


The UK DRI now have an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join Dr Dayne Beccano-Kelly’s lab. The Beccano-Kelly lab aims to assess the earliest changes in Parkinson’s disease, focusing on synaptic activity, in the context of the temporal nature of the disease. You will have the opportunity to use cutting edge techniques, tools and models (including PatchSeq, Optogenetics iPSC and knock-in animal models) to support the lab’s research into Parkinson’s disease, conducting research within the specialist areas of electrophysiology, tissue culture and molecular assays. This work will help to generate a pathophysiological timeline identifying the most important phenotypes and howe they can be modulated to prevent late-stage degeneration. As part of the team, you will conduct experiments, contribute to publications in high-quality journals, and develop research proposals for both your own and joint research projects and funding applications.


Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education:

1.    Postgraduate degree at PhD level (or nearing completion / submission) in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

2.    An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within the following research fields:

i.    Electrophysiology 

ii.    Tissue Culture

iii.    Molecular assays including immunocytochemistry and western blot

3.    Knowledge of current status of research in Parkinson’s disease.

4.    Proven ability to have published in high-quality journals and/or present at high-impact conferences.

5.    Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding to be able to develop applications to funding bodies.

Communication and Team Working:

6.    Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication. Displaying excellent interpersonal skills to contribute to a friendly working environment.

7.    Ability to coordinate with the work of others to focus team efforts.

8.    Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working in work.


Desirable Criteria

9.    Whilst any electrophysiological experience is essential, previous experience on midbrain sections would be viewed favourably.

10.    Previous experience working with iPSC.

11.    Relevant professional and/or academic qualification(s).

12.    Proven track record of outreach to various communities.

13.    Evidence of collaborations with industry.

14.    Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the research activities, visibility and impact of the laboratory and school on said networks.