Research Fellow in Biomedical Sciences

University of Westminster - Department of Biomedical Sciences

We are seeking a Research Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Sciences to commence as soon as possible.

The main focus of this research is to determine whether the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-K contributes to sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (sALS)/ Motor Neurone Disease, as suggested in a ground-breaking study by Li et al (Sci Transl Med. 2015 Sep 30; 7 (307):307ra153). The successful candidate will develop and standardise HERV-K and HERV-W specific qPCR assays that are MIQE compliant, to measure expression levels of HERV transcripts in human post-mortem brain and blood from patients and controls. Next generation sequencing (NGS) will also be performed to look for HERV-K sequence variants associated with sALS and digital PCR will be employed to measure HERV-K DNA copy number. Optionally, microarray analysis may be undertaken to provide a broader screening of HERV expression patterns. The research proposed will allow us to gain a better understanding of sALS pathogenesis and may provide novel diagnostic markers and targets for treatment development and monitoring in this fatal neurological disease.

The post is based within Dr Adele McCormick’s group in the Faculty of Science and Technology (University of Westminster). The research will be undertaken in close collaboration with Professor Ammar Al-Chalabi (Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, King’s College London), Dr Jeremy Garson (Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London) and Dr Jim Huggett (LGC Group, Teddington).

Candidates must hold a PhD in virology/molecular biology or the equivalent in professional qualifications and experience. Candidates must also have a proven record of successful research with experience of real-time qPCR and NGS. Knowledge of bioinformatic software packages would also be desirable.

Interviews are likely to be held on: W/C 30 October 2017

To apply for this vacancy and for further information about careers and benefits at the University of Westminster, please click on the following link:

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Please note: We are unable to accept any applications by email. All applications must be made online. CVs in isolation or incomplete application forms will also not be accepted. 

We are fortunate to receive a large number of applications for our vacancies. Regrettably, we are not able to provide feedback to those job applicants who were not shortlisted and invited for interview as it would simply not be manageable to do so.

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