Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Gene Therapy Vector Development

Macquarie University
May 19, 2024
Offerd Salary:$102,501-$109,852
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed Term employmen
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Opportunity for an experienced postdoctoral researcher with strong background in molecular biology and a keen interest in neuroscience for designer gene therapy vector development in the Dementia Research Centre.


  • Salary Package: Level A, Step 6-8 (PhD $102,501-$109,852) plus 17% Superannuation and annual leave loading

  • Appointment Type: Fixed Term employment for 12 months (with possible extension contingent to funding available)

  • Location: Macquarie University (Wallumattagal Campus, North Ryde)

  • The Dementia Research Centre is seeking an experienced and highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellow to drive a FightMND project aiming to develop and transform experimental gene therapy vectors into a human trial-ready gene therapy. This project aims to demonstrate its pre-clinical efficacy and safety profile required for advancing to first in human trials.

    The successful candidate will have a strong background in molecular biology from the fields of neuroscience, immunology, virology or cancer biology for designer gene therapy vector development. This work will integrate with ongoing research of the Dementia Research Centre using adeno-associated viral vectors as gene therapy for treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases. The role requires a high degree of independence in experimental planning and execution, data analysis and reporting. The successful candidate will present the data at scientific conferences, prepare manuscripts towards publications in scientific journals and actively contribute to grant and fellowship applications to support the research program. There will be opportunities for contributing to teaching and organizational committees.

    The researcher will humanise an experimental gene therapy vector into a translational vector that meets regulatory requirements. The role will be required to optismise processes to produce vector quantities to preclinical validation and future clinical trials. The research will also be required to perform pre-clinical vector validation in MND mouse models and target engagement in iPSC-derived CNS organoids. This project aims to demonstrate its pre-clinical efficacy and safety profile required for advancing to first in human trials. Furthermore, the researcher will develop new gene delivery vectors.

    Specific role requirements:

  • Undertake molecular biology experiments such as: RT-PCR, DNA/RNA extractions, molecular cloning and modification of DNA plasmids.

  • Administer and test gene therapies in a range of mouse models. This includes testing, sample collection and monitoring of mice and analysis of data.

  • Culture and analyse cells, including primary murine and stem cell-derived human neurons.

  • Analyse biological samples using biochemical and histological techniques.

  • Maintain and monitor a mouse colony to a high standard. This includes setting up of breedings, monitoring pregnancies, weaning offspring, tissue harvesting, record keeping and genotyping of mice.

  • Record keeping of experiments and data. Preparation of internal and external presentations and reports.

  • About You

    You have worked with gene editing and transfer technologies in your field of research and you are interested in a new challenge by bringing your expertise to a multidisciplinary team in neuroscience, to develop the next generation of gene therapy vectors for battling dementia. You will have an in-depth knowledge and experience in molecular cloning techniques and be familiar with cell culture techniques and laboratory animals. You would have made significant contributions to your field of research with several impactful publications and presentations at national and international conferences. Your track record makes you a likely candidate for obtaining grants and fellowships in the future. You will enjoy working both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team. You will also be an excellent communicator with high- quality interpersonal skills and the ability to liaise with internal and external stakeholders at all levels.

    About Us

    The Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences (FMHHS) is ambitiously pushing the boundaries of progressive thinking and challenging what's possible to solve some of the big issues of our time, both nationally and on a global scale. The Faculty forms part of MQ Health, an integrated academic health sciences enterprise which incorporates Macquarie University Hospital and primary and speciality clinics. We have active research programs in neurosciences, health systems and patient safety research, cancer medicine, and clinical sciences, amongst others. We foster a values-based culture of innovation and creativity to achieve excellence in teaching and to enhance the research performance of the University. We invest in developing the careers and wellbeing of our students and staff and expect all our leaders to live our values of Caring, Integrity, Teamwork, Ambition, Innovation, and Engagement.

    Within the Faculty, the Dementia Research Centre provides an environment for innovative, interdisciplinary research for dementia and other neurological conditions, using and developing state-of-the-art technologies to advance basic discoveries towards translation into clinical treatments. The Dementia Research Centre is committed to providing a unique and supportive mentoring program to allow the growth of future leaders for dementia research.

    Macquarie is a university engaged with the real and often complex problems and opportunities that define our lives. Since our foundation 54 years ago, we have aspired to be a different type of university. Over the years, we've grown to become the centre of a vibrant local and global community. Connect with us today and learn more about the Dementia Research Centre.

    To Apply

    To be considered for this position, please apply online and attach your resume and a separate cover letter (2-page maximum) that outlines how you meet to the selection criteria below:

    Essential Criteria:

  • PhD in Science in the fields of neuroscience, immunology, virology or cancer biology (or related fields); ideally with prior experience in gene therapy.
  • Core Criteria:

  • Proven experience in the molecular biology techniques such as cloning, CRISPR and phage-display

  • Proven experience in cell biology techniques such as FACS and cell culture

  • Proven experience in functional characterization of novel constructs using cellular assays

  • Proven experience with producing, handling and modifying adeno-associated virus (or other laboratory viruses)

  • A strong record of contributions to peer reviewed publications and history of research excellence, relative to experience and opportunity.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with an ability to prepare reports and manuscripts for publication in high impact quality journals.

  • Proven ability to conduct research independently and as part of a team

  • Computer skills including MS Office, research and database management and research software (such as EndNote and statistical software packages).

  • Experience working in a research laboratory including knowledge of relevant regulations, ethics and guidelines.

  • T his position requires criminal record and qualifications checking.

    Please note that this position is not available for visa sponsorship and the successful applicant must have work rights in Australia

    Specific Role Enquiries: Dr Yazi Ke, Dementia Research Centre, [email protected]

    General Enquiries: Amie Law, Dementia Research Centre, [email protected]

    Applications Close : Sunday, 19 May 2024

    If you're already part of the Macquarie Group (MQ University, U@MQ, MQ Health, MGSM), you'll need to apply through your employee Workday account. To apply for this job: Login to Workday and go to the Careers App > Find Jobs.

    Applications Close:

    19/05/2024 11:59 PM

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