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Research Fellow in Cell Free Oligonucleotide Synthesis

UCL - Biochemical Engineering Department

Location: London, Hybrid
Salary: £42,099 to £50,585
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th February 2024
Closes: 27th February 2024
Job Ref: B04-04747

About the role

This role is integral to the UCL-Cytiva Centre of Excellence (CoE), which focuses on cutting-edge research in filtration, separation, and purification. Funded by EPSRC's Prosperity Partnership initiative, our goal is to advance genomic medicine manufacturing, enhancing patient access to innovative therapies.

We're seeking a proactive, collaborative Research Fellow to lead Cell-Free Oligonucleotide Synthesis research at UCL's Biochemical Engineering Department. The successful candidate will spearhead modelling and experimental studies in this area.

The main objective is to build a mechanistic model of cell free plasmid DNA synthesis as the basis for model-based control to improve product quality and productivity and ultimately enable a digital twin of this type of process. The key success criteria for this work will be to validate the model against UCL’s cell free plasmid DNA platform process. The model will capture substrate (dNTP) inhibition and other key aspects critical to control of the reactions at the core of plasmid synthesis by cell free / enzymatic means. Proof concept work has already captured some of the complex relationships between enzyme levels (phi29) and substrate (dNTP). The work must be built upon to establish a model for the full reaction including aspects such as folding to create the desired DNA topology. Once complete and validated the model will be the basis for increasing the productivity and quality via process engineering solutions such as feeding strategies and reactor design.

In addition to leading their own research plan, the role will provide significant management and industrial engagement opportunities. The post-holder will be expected to spend significant periods of time at Cytiva’s Portsmouth site. The Research Fellow will support the CoE programme management, including support of the EngD students and will be responsible for interfacing between UCL and Cytiva to promote CoE collaboration. The Fellow will hold roles within the management and Academic Liaison Committees, which supports the running and future vision of the collaboration. This will require extensive collaboration with both UCL and Cytiva researchers.

About you Relevant PhD and experience in job specification. All candidates must meet the essential criteria, and we encourage candidates who may not meet all the desirable criteria to apply as the successful candidate can grow within the role.

Contact Prof Dan Bracewell:

What we offer

Benefits:

  • 41 Days holiday (including 27 days annual leave 8 bank holiday and 6 closure days)
  • Defined benefit career average revalued earnings pension scheme (CARE)
  • Cycle to work scheme and season ticket loan
  • On-Site nursery
  • On-site gym
  • Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay
  • Employee assistance programme: Staff Support Service
  • Discounted medical insurance

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

As London’s Global University, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation, and we want our community to represent the diversity of the world’s talent. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where we all belong.

We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in UCL’s workforce. These include people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds; disabled people; LGBTQI+ people; and for our Grade 9 and 10 roles, women.

You can read more about our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/equality-diversity-inclusion/

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