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Senior Research Assistant - Cellular Generation and Phenotyping

09 August 2018

A rare opportunity has arisen for a talented cell biology specialist to support the Cellular Generation and Phenotyping team (CGaP) here at the Sanger. You will be working as part of an international collaboration, striving to develop and utilise one of the largest cancer organoid biobanks in the world.

  • Do you thrive in a multi-disciplinary team, working together to solve complex cell biology issues?
  • Have you ever worked in a R&D, high throughput or process driven setting?
  • Do you have experience in organoids/spheroid/3D culture, primary tissue processing and/ or CRISPR-Cas9 screening?
  • Alternatively, do you have extensive experience in cell biology?
If you said yes to the above questions, then this is the job for you.

We are a core facility, responsible for providing cell biology resource and expertise to the wider institute. We do this by running multiple, diverse, high throughput projects for various faculty teams from across the Sanger Institute. Our current portfolio of projects includes genome wide CRISPR screens, iPSC derivation and differentiation, organoid derivation, the Human Cell Atlas Initiative and the generation of Plasmodium mutants. We work closely as a team of Senior Scientific Managers, Research Assistants and Faculty members to successfully deliver large scale projects.

You will join a large multi-disciplinary team who are working as part of the Human Cancer Model Initiative to generate a large cancer organoid biobank. Approximately 1,000 human cancer cell lines are available worldwide, which are a useful resource for cancer research. However as we enter the era of precision medicine, poor disease representation, insufficient numbers to capture the genetic diversity of cancer, lack of clinical outcome data and lack of comparison to normal reference samples limit their use. Novel cell culturing methods such as organoid derivation will revolutionise our ability to derive new models and have the potential to overcome these limitations.

We are now moving on the next stage of this project to utilise the newly derived organoid models to identify novel targets for cancer therapy. We plan to do this by performing genome wide CRISPR drop-out screens using the organoid biobank resource. Your knowledge, skills and experience will all be needed to help bring this project online. Over time there will be scope for you to move across the many diverse projects we run here at CGaP.

As a Senior Research Assistant you will play a fundamental role in developing organoid derivation protocols for a growing portfolio of tissue types. Working in close collaboration with the Garnett faculty team you will help develop and transfer protocols into the CGaP facility. Here at CGaP you will be working with an experienced team of enthusiastic, highly motivated Research Assistants, under the management of a Senior Scientific Manager. Your role will include offering day to day support to the team including, training, troubleshooting and identifying areas for process improvement. A fundamental aspect of the role will be to inspire, develop and mentor junior staff, as well as working closely with the Senior Scientific Managers to successfully deliver projects.

In addition to the lab work our Senior Research Assistants are expected to have strong time management and organisational skills, be excellent communicators and in some cases may acquire line management responsibilities. As a department we strive to work together where possible, building a culture of continues process improvements. We encourage all staff to take part in department and institute wide initiatives.

Essential Skills:

  • BSc in Biology plus extensive cell biology laboratory experience
  • Prior experience of running and developing cell based assays and processes, including cell culture systems, reporter assays, flow cytometry, ICC, PCR, etc.
  • Ability to troubleshoot complicated laboratory processes
  • Experience of identifying and successfully resolving complex scientific/technical issues
  • Proven track record in generating and analysing high quality data
  • High attention to detail and good record keeping
  • Proven ability to be able to organise and schedule their own work
  • Proven experience in training and developing others in scientific techniques
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience in collaborating with others and effectively working in teams

Ideal Skills:

  • Experience in organoids/spheroid/3D culture and/or primary tissue processing
  • Experience in CRISPR-Cas9 library screening.
  • Proven ability to be able to organise and schedule more junior staffs work

For further information, full job description and to apply please visit or click here.

Closing date: 2nd September, 2018