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Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term) - High Resolution Fluorescence Imaging of LAIV vaccine viruses

University of Cambridge - Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £25,728 to £38,833
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 16th July 2018
Closes: 31st August 2018
Job Ref: NQ16162

Grade 5 - £25,728-£29,799

Grade 7 - £31,604-£38,833

We are looking for an experienced biophysicist with experience in fluorescence imaging and image analysis to lead a collaborative project between the Laser Analytics Group ( at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology and MedImmune/AstraZeneca.  The goal is to develop novel microscopy imaging and image analysis techniques to elucidate the entry and assembly mechanisms of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) viruses in live cells, providing insight into vaccine function.

The clinical effectiveness of AstraZeneca/Medimmune's live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist/Fluenz) relies on efficient replication of attenuated vaccine virus strains in the human upper respiratory tract. The entry and assembly phases of the influenza virus replication cycle, and their contribution to successful vaccination outcomes, are not well understood. The aim of this project is to use novel virus labelling methods, live-cell compatible super-resolution microscopy and fast 3D imaging of single cells to investigate these early and late stages of the LAIV life cycle and to correlate observations to clinical performance.

The project involves the use of state of the art optical imaging methods such as high throughput, high resolution structured illumination (SIM) microscopy, stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, and correlative methods using optical imaging simultaneously with atomic force microscopy (AFM).  We are particularly keen to develop methods to follow the fate of LAIV in live cells at optical super-resolution and track the transport of individual LAIV particles using single particle tracking (SPT).

We seek a highly motivated researcher, with proven experience in biological microscopy and imaging, and proficiency in image processing and biological sample preparation techniques. A track record in fluorescence imaging, particularly in the use of superresolution methods, is an advantage.

The research takes place in a highly interdisciplinary environment where imaging specialists (optical engineers and physicists) work side-by-side with cell biologists and immunologists. Good team working and communication skills are therefore essential. The post carries considerable leadership responsibilities, and engagement and co-ordination with our industrial partner is essential. The project is on basic research, and there is a strong expectation to produce outputs in the form of top tier research journal publications.

More information about the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology can be found here:

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should provide a CV, including contact details of two referees and a covering letter describing their suitability for the role.

For informal discussions, contact Prof. Clemens Kaminski ( or Dr. Helen Bright (

Please quote reference NQ16162 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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