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Research Technician (Cell Biology)

The University of Manchester - Biology, Medicine Health - FBMH Technical Services - Faculty Office - Biology, Medicine and Health

Location: Manchester
Salary: £30,487 per annum depending on experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 4th June 2024
Closes: 14th June 2024
Job Ref: BMH-025675

Overview 

A Research Technician is required to join an Academy of Medical Sciences-funded project to investigate the role of protein mislocalisation in rare neurodegenerative diseases. 

The background 

Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of >80 rare genetic neurodegenerative diseases caused by degeneration of corticospinal axons. There are no treatments for HSP, and we face a bottleneck in the identification of disease mechanisms. 

We previously uncovered important protein mislocalisation events that underlie axonal degeneration and neurodevelopmental defects in HSP caused by mutation of the trafficking vesicle adaptor AP-4. These mislocalisation phenotypes have been translated into readouts for AP-4 function, used in patient diagnostics and therapeutic development. 

The project 

This project seeks to uncover how protein mislocalisation events contribute to disease in three related forms of HSP, SPG11, SPG15 and SPG48, caused by loss-of-function mutations in the AP-5 vesicle adaptor complex. We will model these diseases in vitro using CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) to knockdown gene expression in iPSC-derived neurons. Over the 24 months, we will identify mislocalised proteins, quantitatively compare axon defects and determine the molecular signature of axonal pathology in AP-5-associated HSPs. 

A range of molecular and cell biology techniques will be used, including induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) culture and differentiation, microfluidic culture devices, spatially-resolved proteomics, and confocal and live-cell microscopy. 

We are located in the Michael Smith Building at the University of Manchester, with access to state-of-the-art facilities for mass spectrometry, genomic technologies, sequencing and imaging (including confocal microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, light-sheet and lattice light-sheet microscopy, TIRFM, FRAP and FRET). iPSC-based disease models are in collaboration with HSP expert Prof Evan Reid (University of Cambridge). Microfluidic culture work is in collaboration with Dr Stefan Hauser (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases). 

Further information 

Applicants should hold a qualification at QCF level 6 (such as a bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in a relevant biological science subject OR QCF level 2 passes (such as GCSE’s) in English and Mathematics and at least one Science subject and substantial relevant experience of working in a research laboratory. 

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews: 

Name: Rebekah Higgins 

Email: rebekah.higgins@manchester.ac.uk 

General enquiries: 

Email: People.recruitment@manchester.ac.uk 

Technical support: 

https://jobseekersupport.jobtrain.co.uk/support/home [jobseekersupport.jobtrain.co.uk]

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