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Research Associate, Department of Infectious Diseases

King's College London - Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Location: London
Salary: £38,304 to £40,414 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 11th June 2021
Closes: 8th July 2021
Job Ref: 025045
 

Location: Guy's Campus

Contact details: Dr Katie Doores, katie.doores@kcl.ac.uk

Hantaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses from the Bunyaviridae family and considered an emerging zoonotic NIAID Category A Priority Pathogen. Zoonotic transmission from small rodents to humans can lead to severe disease. There is currently no therapy or world-wide vaccine approved. Despite the importance of neutralizing antibody responses in disease clearance and protection against infection, our understanding of the immune response against emerging hantaviruses is very limited.

The purpose of this MRC funded position is to use clinical samples from human survivors to study the antibody response to emerging hantaviruses. Antigen-specific B cell sorting will be used to isolate hantavirus specific monoclonal antibodies. The neutralizing efficacy of the antibodies will be assessed using an in house CL2 VSV virus system established in our department and the neutralizing epitopes identified on the viral glycoprotein surface. Characterization of the neutralizing epitopes will inform vaccine design strategies.

The successful candidate should be highly motivated and well organised, with experience in managing complex laboratory projects and communicating effectively with other scientists and students.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 3 years.

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent.

Key responsibilities

The use of a wide range of laboratory techniques and experimental strategies to meet the objectives outlined above.

  • Perform antigen-specific B cell sorting to isolate hantavirus specific monoclonal antibodies from previously infected individuals.
  • To express and purify viral glycoproteins and monoclonal antibodies.
  • To characterize monoclonal antibodies using ELISA and cell-based neutralization assays.
  • Develop functional assays to study mechanisms of antibody neutralization.
  • To interact and work with collaborators at the University of Oxford.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria
  • PhD awarded in Virology, Immunology or related Molecular Biomedical Science or PhD in Virology, Immunology or related Molecular Biomedical Science near completion.
  • Experience in tissue culture, working with both primary cells and cell lines.
  • Experience in molecular biology techniques including cloning, single cell PCR.
  • Experience in immunological techniques including ELISA.
  • Excellent technical aptitude, adaptable and willingness to learn new skills, scientific concepts, and scientific techniques.
  • A track record of publication in respected scientific journals.
  • Excellent communication, time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collegially as a team member.
Desirable criteria
  • Experience in protein and antibody expression and purification.
  • Knowledge of B cell biology and immunology.
  • Experience in flow cytometry and cell sorting.

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

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