Scientific officer – Research & Development

Alcyomics is a biotech company, focused on the development and commercialisation of novel human in vitro skin assays for prediction of adverse effects of novel compounds, such as, biologics, small molecule drugs, chemicals and cosmetics. Alcyomics has a strong client base and offers a unique service provision coupled with a consultancy service to help solve our clients product safety problems. The company also has a differentiated R&D pipeline and is developing the next generation of assays to expand our service offerings. Alcyomics ambition is to become a global leader in immunotoxicity testing to help determine the risk hazard of compounds.

A spin-out of Newcastle University, Alcyomics is founded on the work of Professor Anne Dickinson, an academic lead in marrow transplant biology and Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) research. GvHD is a severe complication of haemopoietic transplant. The company started trading in 2009, offering its unique service for safety testing of compounds using its novel Skimune® technology. We are currently scaling up our in-house capabilities in research, development of assays, and expanding our service provision. We are building a leading biotechnology company which has a unique offering in the technology it has developed with the ambition to be a leading global preclinical safety testing service. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a fast-moving, innovative company that’s going places, and to make a real impact from early on.

Role Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated scientist with 3-5 years research experience to join the Research & Development team in our state of the art laboratories in The Biosphere, Newcastle. Candidates will be highly motivated with expert knowledge of tissue culture, working with human primary cells or tissue and must have proven skills performing in vitro cellular and molecular studies. A capacity or desire to take on new responsibilities and challenges as they arise in a growing company will be required. A keen interest or background in immunology would be desirable with some experience and knowledge in skin tissue processing and development of 3D models. This position offers an excellent opportunity for a highly talented scientist to contribute to a growing pipeline of assets in an exciting and highly dynamic environment focused on developing innovate assays for predicting adverse effects to compounds.

Key Responsibilities

• Drive complex molecular and cell-based experimentation aimed at understanding and modulating osteoarthritis (OA) in a complex 3D OA model.
• Conduct in vitro experimentation aimed at testing OA drugs in the 3D OA model.
• Design, execute and analyse molecular, cellular and immunological assays to investigate immune mechanisms and validate the OA 3D models.
• Ensure reports and appropriate documentation are written to required standards to support assay validation and verification.
• Work independently as well as co-operatively as part of a team to drive projects to key milestones.
• Report project progress to line-manager on a weekly/fortnightly basis
• Deliver presentations of project progress to internal and external colleagues and collaborators
• Commitment to delivering high quality work against tight deadlines and within a fast-paced environment
• Work with quality systems (ISO)
• Demonstrate flexibility to participate in tasks on demand

Demonstrated skills and competencies

E – Essential P – Preferred

• Lab-based and applied experience in tissue culture techniques, experience of working with human primary cells or tissue (E)
• 3-5 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry (P)
• Experience of flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry (P)

• PhD degree in Immunology, Cell Biology or a closely related discipline with 3+ years post-doctoral or industry experience or Master degree with 5+ years of relevant research experience (E)

Skills/Specialist knowledge
• Basic understanding in immunology or rheumatology, with deep understanding of evidenced by publications/patents (P)
• Expertise in culture of mammalian cells and primary cells, particularly of human immune cells and knee joint cells (P)
• Proficiency in cell-based techniques and functional assays, including flow cytometry, isolation and characterization of cell subpopulations, ELISA/ELISpot, cell proliferation and viability assays (E)
• Basic understanding in molecular biology with desirable expertise in Immunohistochemistry or immunocytochemistry and some knowledge on extraction and preparation of nucleic acids (P)
• Demonstrated understanding and hands-on experience with 3D models or similar and relevant state of the art technology platforms (P)
• Demonstrated creativity and application of innovative strategies to solve scientific problems; ability to interpret, troubleshoot and report complex data (E)
• Excellent time management and interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact effectively with internal and external colleagues and collaborators (E)
• Ensure work is completed to a high standard to meet milestones or tight deadlines (E)
• Participate in client studies and delivery of client work as and when required ( E)
• Contribute to a culture that embraces scientific excellence, integrity, urgency, and continuous improvement (E)
• Willing to participate in tasks on demand and be a hands-on across a wide area of responsibilities (P)
• Desire to continue learning and keep up to with knowledge of the field by reviewing literature (P)
• Ability to work with quality systems (ISO), able to complete SOPS’s, COSCHH forms and risk assessment in order to deliver a high quality of service to the company (E).

Application Instructions: 

Please send your CV and covering letter to

Application Closing Date: 
22 March