Research Associate - Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
30 Nov 2021
£38,826 including London Weighting Allowance
King's College London
2 years

This group are seeking a postdoctoral research associate position to work on an MRC-funded project to explore the role of molecular chaperones in astrocytes in the context of Alzheimer’s disease. This a 2-year position to join the laboratory of Maria Jimenez-Sanchez. 

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated scientist who is passionate about science and has a background in neurodegeneration and/or proteostasis research. The postdoctoral researcher will lead a project to explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which extracellular chaperones exert protective functions in Alzheimer’s disease. They are looking for someone with cell biology, biochemistry and imaging expertise in neuronal biology in the context of neurodegeneration. Research models to use will include primary neuron and glial cultures and long term organotypic brain slice cultures. They will use AAVs, recombinant proteins and/or siRNA/DNA transfection to modulate levels of relevant proteins in these models to investigate the impact of chaperones in Alzheimer’s disease pathology and their mechanisms, including tau pathology, synaptic and neuronal dysfunction. The project may also involve working with human post-mortem Alzheimer’s disease brain samples. They expect you to have a large degree of independence and will make major practical and intellectual contributions to the project. Time management skills and the ability to work with others as well as to train and supervise students in the lab are required.  

The lab is based at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, in King’s College London, Denmark Hill Campus.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and undertake research of high quality in line with the aims of the project to enable better understanding of astrocyte-neuron interactions in Alzheimer’s disease and the role of molecular chaperones in this process.
  • The role will require high degree of independence and major intellectual contribution to the project.
  • Deep understanding of neuronal biology and neurodegeneration
  • Expertise in cell culture, biochemistry and imaging techniques.
  • Hands on experience in primary neuronal cultures and organotypic brain slice cultures.
  • Competency on cell culture and general biochemistry techniques is essential.
  • Techniques to use may include the preparation of primary mouse astrocyte and neuron cultures, cell culture and genetic manipulation using DNA and siRNA transfection approaches, and confocal and high content imaging.
  • Carry out meticulous collection, analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Maintain careful permanent records of all experimental work.
  • Contribute to publications arising from the project Work in a collaborative manner and engage with other members of the group and department.
  • Be committed to their own personal career development.
  • Undertake any other reasonable duties that may be relevant to the role outline.

Essential criteria

  1. PhD in a relevant field (e.g. Neuroscience, Biochemistry or other Biomedical Science).
  2. Theoretical and practical knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases and protein homeostasis mechanisms.
  3. Good knowledge and practical skills in microscopy and imaging analysis techniques, including the use of confocal and super resolution microscopes.
  4. Good knowledge in general biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology techniques including western blotting, immunofluorescence, cloning or cell culture.
  5. Proficient IT skills including MS Office, knowledge of statistical analyses of laboratory data, knowledge of programmes for preparation of data for presentation in publications.
  6. Proactive and able to work independently and as part of a team, with experience in supervision of students and new members.
  7. Excellent presentation and communication skills.
  8. A strong track record as evidenced by published or accepted papers in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, oral and/or poster presentations at scientific meetings.

Desirable criteria

  1. Theoretical and practical knowledge in glial cells in neurodegeneration.
  2. Preparation of primary rodent glial and neuronal cell cultures.
  3. Preparation of mouse organotypic brain slice cultures.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 24 months.

This is a full-time  post - 100% full time equivalent.