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Postdoctoral Research Associates

King's College London - Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics

Location: London
Salary: £38,826 to £43,239 per annum including London Weighting Allowance
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 5th October 2021
Closes: 31st October 2021
Job Ref: 033488

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 31 March 2025

Muscle Activity and Growth: from Developmental Genetics to the Human Population. The PDRAs will work collaboratively in the group of Professor Simon M. Hughes in the multidisciplinary Randall Centre to study:

Post 1) The role of physical force in the growth of skeletal muscle through a novel force-sensing system.

Post 2) The role of muscle stem cell heterogeneity in growth and repair of skeletal muscle.

The successful candidates will have deep understanding of experimental design and analysis in modern biomolecular and genetic research, and will work with zebrafish.

Post 3) The genetic and environmental causes of sarcopenia, ageing-related muscle wasting.  This project, in collaboration with genetic epidemiologist and health data scientist Dr Nick Dand (KCL), will employ UK Biobank data to analyse the genetics and epidemiology of sarcopenia. 

The PDRAs will join our MRC-funded team focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of muscle growth, maintenance and repair. We want to know how exercise, nutrition and time of day interact with genetic predisposition to determine individual trajectory by generating hypotheses from human data and testing them in model systems.  Experience with molecular genetics, timelapse confocal microscopy, zebrafish, equipment construction, physiology, GWAS, data analysis in R and muscle may all be advantageous.

Key responsibilities

  • Post 1. To develop new assays and protocols to assess the role of Forcin signalling, a novel pathway we have discovered that acts downstream of actomyosin activity to drive muscle growth. To use those approaches to determine the dynamics of regulatory changes and interaction with known pathways regulating muscle growth, such as TORC1.
  • Post 2. To ablate/perturb specific cell populations and examine the effect on myogenesis by timelapse confocal microscopy.
  • Post 3. To perform epidemiological analyses using the UK Biobank and generate hypotheses, or test those generated from our zebrafish studies, in the human population through PheWAs and GWAS analysis.
  • To analyse and interpret the data collected in the above studies, and to contribute to the preparation of publications describing the results.
  • To work collaboratively within the experimental team to generate and test hypotheses on muscle growth and maintenance in zebrafish, other model species and/or humans.
  • 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. 
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