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Senior Research Technician (Maternity Cover)

UCL Institute of Neurology - Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Huntington's Disease (HD) Centre

Location: London
Salary: £36,770 to £44,388 UCL Grade 7, per annum (inclusive of London Allowance)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th May 2022
Closes: 6th June 2022
Job Ref: 1884244

Led by Professor Sarah Tabrizi (Director) and Professor Gillian Bates (Co-Director) and opened in 2015 in a dedicated, purpose-built space, the UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre is uniquely placed world-wide to translate mechanistic insights to ‘first in human’ studies. It combines sophisticated cell-based systems with rigorously standardised preclinical target validation to prime mechanistically-driven drug development initiatives. The Centre integrates clinical and laboratory work with small proof-of-concept first in human studies in patients in the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) prior to initiating larger phase 2 and 3 clinical trials including novel huntingtin-lowering trials.

We are seeking a Senior Research Technician to work on a CHDI Foundation and UK DRI funded project within Professor Sarah J Tabrizi’s research group.

Recent genome-wide association (GWA) data from our group and others has highlighted the importance of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway in the modulation of age at onset (AAO) and progression of Huntington’s disease (HD). These DDR proteins likely act through an effect on repeat instability. This post will examine the involvement of DDR proteins in repeat expansion in patient-derived cell models.  You will use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with repeat expansion diseases, including HD, to study the role of DDR proteins, including FAN1 and MSH3, in repeat instability. You will use techniques including antisense oligonucleotide (ASO), shRNA and CRISPR, all well established in our lab, to manipulate expression of DDR pathway components in iPSCs, which will subsequently be differentiated to neurons, including medium spiny neurons (MSNs).

You will be responsible for daily maintenance of human iPSC lines, differentiation to neuronal cultures, flow cytometry and nuclease assays, as well as managing with the day-to-day running of the tissue culture laboratory.

You will hold Honours degree (min 2:1) in biological science or a related discipline, and PhD or other post-graduate qualification in biological sciences or related subject area. Extensive experience of working in experimental laboratory research is essential, as is tissue culture experience and molecular biology experience including PCR assays and transduction/transfection of cells. Experience of iPSC cultures and biochemical assays, including western blotting, is desirable, as is an understanding of neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases.

The post, funded by a grant from UKDRI, is available from 01 August 2022 and offered as maternity cover until March 2023.

Starting salary will be on UCL Grade 7, which ranges from £36,770 to £44,388 per annum (inclusive of London Allowance). The Institute also offers 41 days of annual leave (inclusive of bank holidays and college closure dates), a generous pension scheme, access to UCL’s community benefits including lunch-hour lectures, exhibitions, and museums, as well as an extensive range of staff benefits.

You should apply for this post through UCL’s online recruitment website, www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/jobs, where you can download a full job description and person specification using ref 1884244.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Samantha Robinson, HR Officer, UCL Institute of Neurology (email: ion.hradmin@ucl.ac.uk).

For informal enquiries about the role please contact Dr Michael Flower (michael.flower@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr Marwa Elmasri (m.elmasri@ucl.ac.uk).

Closing date for applications: 6 June 2022.

Interview date: 14 June 2022

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