Research Assistant (Fixed Term)
We are seeking a research assistant experienced in mammalian tissue culture to
join our group's efforts to find new treatments for obesity and
neurodegeneration using unique human stem cell-based model systems. The role
offers an exceptional opportunity to join a friendly and diverse team with
expertise in developmental and stem cell biology, neuroscience, gene editing,
disease modelling, and computational biology in the laboratory of Dr. Florian
Merkle (www. merklelab.org).
We are based at the highly collaborative environment and world-leading
Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science
(https: // www. ims.cam.ac.uk/) at the University of Cambridge. This position
is funded by the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYCSF, https: // nyscf.org/),
and will enable the successful applicant to join an international network of
investigators tackling major challenges in human health. Our group is also
affiliated with the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
(https: // www. stemcells.cam.ac.uk/) and we collaborate closely with the Open
Targets academic-industrial partnership (https: // www. opentargets.org/), and
the UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI,
https: // ukdri.ac.uk/centres/cambridge).
The successful applicant will culture human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs),
differentiate hPSCs into neurons and other cell populations, assist with the
generation of gene-edited hPSC lines, and be responsible for the smooth and
efficient function of the group's tissue culture facilities. In this
environment, the candidate will be exposed to cutting-edge techniques such as
single-cell transcriptomics, drug screening, and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.
Candidates with strong background and interest in cell culture and a curiosity
about many areas of biology are likely to find this position rewarding, as it
affords an opportunity to make a substantial impact in numerous areas of
research relevant to human health. Furthermore, there are ample opportunities
for technical and personal growth and career development, and to help shape
the course of research projects. Applicants should have:
MSc in biological sciences (molecular biology, cellular biology,
neuroscience, or similar) or a BSc with 2+ years relevant laboratory
Extensive experience of mammalian cell culture, ideally with human ES or
Outstanding organisational, managerial, and record-keeping practices, and
be able to independently manage long-term projects to meet deadlines
Clear oral and written communication skills to allow accurate information
to be exchanged, and strong interpersonal skills with a track record of
effectively working as part of a team
An ability and desire to work independently once appropriate training and
guidance have been provided, and an interest in neurodegeneration, stem
cell biology, in vitro differentiation and/or cellular modelling of
disease, and the development of new treatments of disease
Willingness to work flexible hours (e.g. occasional evenings and
weekends) and assist multiple group members with their projects.
Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first
Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment
system (if you have not already) and apply online.
We encourage applicants meeting these criteria to apply, and especially
encourage applications from individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. The
ideal applicant would also have the following experience and attributes:
Experience with human pluripotent stem cell culture and differentiation
(especially to neurons) and/or neuronal culture and analysis methods
Theoretical training and practical experience in cellular biology
(immunostaining, confocal and high content microscopy and screening,
viral production and transduction, FACS, gene editing)
Theoretical training and practical experience in molecular biology
(nucleic acid purification, PCR & qRT-PCR, molecular cloning, sample
preparation for Illumina sequencing and other 'omics methods)
Experience with large-scale studies such as handling many cell lines in
parallel, image-based high-throughput screens, and/or CRISPR based genome
engineering techniques (e.g. knockout, knock-in, arrayed and pooled
Good computer skills in the use of office software (e.g. Excel, Word,
PowerPoint), ideally also sample management and image analysis software
Closing date: 1st July, 2022
Interview date: 11th-13th July, 2022
Proposed start date: 1st August 2022 .
Informal inquiries about this position should be directed to Florian Merkle at
Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section
of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match
the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you
upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be
able to consider these as part of your application.
Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone
number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.
Please quote reference RG31832 on your application and in any correspondence
about this vacancy.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and
encourages applications from all sections of society.
The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible
to live and work in the UK.
Department of Clinical Biochemistry
17 June 2022
3 July 2022