Research Associate in Sleep & Neurodegeneration

Imperial College London - Life Sciences/Natural Sciences

(Two posts)

Campus: South Kensington SW7

The Department of Life Sciences was the top ranked university department in the UK for research intensity in Biological Sciences in REF2014 (Times Higher Education), scoring 100% on our environment.

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) at Imperial College London has been established to address a medical research area of highest importance and future impact as one of six new national centres of excellence embedded in major UK universities that together are intended to transform the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementias. MRC and charity partners Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested £250m in fulfilment of the ambition identified in the Prime Minister's 2020 Challenge on Dementia.

The laboratory of Profs. Bill Wisden & Nick Franks at the UK DRI at Imperial is seeking two outstanding post-doctoral researchers interested in taking on challenging roles with considerable scope for independent scientific achievement and personal growth. The post-holders will be key members of the research staff in the group of Profs. Franks & Wisden.

The work will focus on questions such as: By what mechanism(s) do soluble amyloid levels decrease in NREM sleep? Does chronic sleep deprivation hinder microglia responses or down regulate their ability to tackle amyloid plaques? Please see also the Knowledge and Experience section.

The posts are funded by the UK DRI at Imperial College to undertake research addressing how sleep influences the initiation and progression of the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease.  The group is interested particularly in understanding the earliest events responsible for driving the onset of disease pathology in people at risk.

The successful candidate will be expected to help to define specific research programmes within this remit and undertake them in conjunction with colleagues in often multi-disciplinary teams.  Considerable independence will be expected, with anticipation for a growing role in leadership of aspects of the research.  In addition, they will be expected to submit publications to refereed journals and to join in attracting external research funding.

You will hold a PhD in neurobiology, or physiology or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience. We particularly encourage applicants who want to extend their skills to in vivo experiments. These would involve a combination of viral transduction into mice and then performing TetTagging with GCaMP imaging, pharmaco- and optogenetics, and retro and anterograde tracing, EEG/EMG recording, analysis of sleep states, live brain imaging of molecules diffusing, and behavioural assays.

You will have knowledge of research methods and statistical procedures, along with practical experience within a research environment and/or publication/s in relevant and refereed journals. You will also be computer literate with a good knowledge of different computer programmes with experience in data presentation and statistical analysis.

These are full time posts fixed term to 31 August 2022

Imperial Expectations guide the behaviour of all our staff.

Should you have any queries please contact:

Prof. William Wisden –

or Prof. Nick Franks -

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

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