Research Fellow in Opthalmology (UCl)

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
20 Nov 2019
£35,965 to £36,945 per annum
Funded until the 6 July 2021 in the first instance.

Duties and Responsibilities

There is a vacancy for a Research Fellow to join a research team at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. In this project, we will investigate adeno associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene replacement therapy for the treatment of Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA) caused by mutations in the AIPL1 gene. AIPL1-associated LCA is the most severe form of the disease, leading to the loss of vision within the first few years of life as a result of the rapid degeneration of the light-sensing photoreceptor cells of the neurosensory retina. The aim of this study is to determine the efficiency and specificity of AAV-mediated AIPL1 transgene expression in human photoreceptor cells using 3D retinal organoids modelling LCA. The efficiency with which the disease phenotype can be rescued will be assessed.

The successful candidate will have experience in the culture and maintenance of iPSC, and experience in iPSC differentiation towards a neuronal fate, while not essential, is desirable. The post-holder will also have advanced expertise in molecular and cell biology, with experience of cryosectioning, immunocytochemistry and analysis of RNAseq data highly desirable. The successful candidate will also be required to apply advanced expertise in immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, and image acquisition, processing and analysis.

The post-holder will contribute to the preparation and publication of the data in a high impact peer-reviewed journal. The post holder will also prepare progress reports and summaries on the research undertaken, and contribute to the overall activities of the research team and department as required.

The position is funded by The Rosetrees Trust and The Cotswold Trust with funding available until 6 July 2021 in the first instance.

Key Requirements

The post would suit an ambitious and dedicated person wishing to develop a career in biomedical research. Candidates should be highly motivated and demonstrate effective time management and organisational skills.

Academic qualifications to PhD level in a relevant subject area is essential, and knowledge of advances in stem cell biology and technology is required.

Previous laboratory experience and the ability to lead a research project with a considerable degree of independence is essential including a track record in the publication of research articles. Prior experience in the culture and maintenance of iPSC is highly desirable. Advanced expertise in molecular and cell biology is essential, and experience in high-resolution immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and image processing is required.

Proficiency in the use of computers and appropriate software (e.g. for word processing, image analysis, data presentation and statistical analysis) is also essential.

For more information and to apply, please click here. 

Further Information

Latest time for submission of applications: 23:59

Contact Details

Informal enquiries about the post may be made to Dr Jacqueline van der Spuy (

If you have any enquiries regarding the application process please email: