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Research Assistant in Genetic Engineering

Imperial College London

Location: Kensington, London
Salary: £40,694 to £43,888
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 19th February 2024
Closes: 4th March 2024
Job Ref: NAT01667
 

This is an exceptional opportunity for ambitious Research Assistants to contribute to ground-breaking research with the potential to transform malaria control strategies and improve the health of communities in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Transmission Zero (www.transmissionzero.org) is an international research programme with the mission to pioneer innovative genetic vector control tools for combatting malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

We are developing CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive systems that are aimed at modifying vector populations by introducing transgenes that inhibit malaria transmission in wild Anopheles mosquito populations across Africa, thus aligning with global efforts to eliminate malaria. Successful candidates will play a crucial role in the design and generation of such gene drives and their validation in transgenic insects.

Transmission Zero involves international partners including the Ifakara Health Institute and the National Institute of Medical Research in Tanzania, as well as the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (www.transmissionzero.org). During its seven years of operation, the programme has already achieved several important milestones, including the creation of Africa's first genetically modified mosquito for vector population modification using gene drives. Over the next three years, our primary objectives include expanding our portfolio of gene drives and antimalarial effectors, refining existing tools, and progressing toward gene drive field trials.

You will design novel DNA constructs based on the CRISPR/Cas9 platform and identify DNA target sites within the mosquito genome. Gene drive constructs with new predicted behaviours will be tested in silico and eventually via the generation of transgenic malaria vectors. You will explore the propagation and phenotype of these gene drives in genetic crosses and eventually in caged vector populations.

The role offers a unique opportunity to contribute to ground-breaking research with the potential to transform malaria control strategies and improve the health of communities in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. If you are an ambitious, self-driven individual with a passion for cutting-edge computational modelling, we encourage you to apply and be part of our dynamic team at Transmission Zero.

Duties and responsibilities

  • You will be responsible for designing and performing experiments to generate high-quality, publication-worthy data, contributing to the advancement of the scientific programme and timely achievement of its various milestones and deliverables.
  • You will actively participate in programme and team meetings, project updates, and collaborative discussions with other teams or stakeholders.
  • You will prepare regular internal reports detailing research progress and findings, and develop materials for oral and poster presentations, effectively communicating research outcomes to colleagues and presenting findings at conferences.

Essential requirements

You should hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in biological sciences or related disciplines. You should have expertise and skills in cell and molecular biology and genetics and practical experience working within a highly competitive research environment with the ability to develop and apply new concepts, techniques, and methods.

Further Information

The post is available full time and fixed term until 31 December 2026. You will be based at the South Kensington Campus.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Dr Nikolai Windbichler, n.windbichler@imperial.ac.uk or Professor George Christophides, g.christophides@imperial.ac.uk or Dr Dina Vlachou: d.vlachou@imperial.ac.uk.

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