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Post-Doctoral Research Scientist

Imperial College London - Department of Bioengineering

Location: London
Salary: £37,904 to £38,893 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 31st August 2018
Closes: 30th September 2018
Job Ref: ENG00501

One year appointment, full time fixed term

Imperial College London is a science-based institution with the greatest concentration of high-impact research of any major UK university.  The Faculty of Engineering, consistently rated among the best in the world, is made up of 10 academic departments and is committed to increasing its research activity by focusing on engineering-led multidisciplinary growth areas that target a number of global challenges. All of our academic departments are located on a single campus in South Kensington, giving a concentration of talent that creates a stimulating, vibrant research community. You can find out more about our staff benefits, including generous annual leave entitlements and our excellent professional development opportunities, here: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/job-applicants/staff-benefits/.

Optogenetics – genetically modifying cells to make them light-sensitive, in order to observe and perturb physiological processes – has revolutionised systems neuroscience. However, current optogenetic techniques require either highly invasive procedures such as intracerebral infusion of viral constructs, or extensive transgenic breeding programmes. The development of non-, or less, invasive procedures for gene delivery into targeted brain regions would enhance scientific outcomes and improve prospects for long-term translation towards human therapeutic applications.

Focused ultrasound, which has been used successfully to deliver small molecule drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), provides a new approach for non-invasive delivery of optogenetic constructs into targeted brain regions. To effectively deliver large molecular weight compounds such as adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) across the BBB, without inflammatory response in the brain, new pulse sequences must be devised. The development of a successful and highly reproducible protocol for non-invasive delivery of genetically encoded sensors such as GCaMP6 would allow in vivo calcium imaging experiments to be performed with no procedure more invasive than a standard tail vein injection.

We are seeking a post-doc to develop and optimise our ultrasound delivery technology to noninvasively label the cerebral cortex with the calcium sensor GCaMP6s. The post-doc will also image neuronal activity through the skull with a two photon microscope.

This is a challenging research project requiring the post-doctoral researcher to work with experts in both Neuroscience (Prof. Simon Schultz and the Neural Coding and Neurodegenerative Disease Laboratory) and Biomedical Acoustics (Dr. James Choi and the Noninvasive Surgery & Biopsy Laboratory). Applicants may also come from other related disciplines. We prefer candidates with an animal licence and who have demonstrated strong experimental skills.

For further informal details on the project and laboratory, visit http://www.schultzlab.org and or contact Prof. Simon Schultz at s.schultz@imperial.ac.uk or Dr. James Choi at j.choi@imperial.ac.uk

Our preferred method of application is online via our website. Please click ‘apply’ below or go to http://www.imperial.ac.uk/jobs/ and enter the job title or vacancy reference number into search bar. Please complete and upload an application form as directed quoting reference number ENG00501. Further information is also available on the job description.

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Jo Adam at i.adam@imperial.ac.uk

Imperial Managers lead by example.

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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