Research Assistant in Genome Editing and Gene Therapy (Oxford)

Print this page

Research Assistant in Genome Editing and Gene Therapy Closing Date: 12:00, 25-Nov-2016

MRC

 

Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford Grade 6: £27,629 - £30,175 p.a.

Download the Job Description.

Applicants are invited for a Research Assistant position at the Oxford University Radcliffe Department of Medicine (NDCLS division) to participate in a new collaborative gene therapy project.

We have been awarded an MRC Discovery Grant to apply our extensive gene therapy skills to the development of hematopoietic stem cell gene editing to ameliorate ß-thalassemia.

The successful applicant will assist in selecting the method to optimise vector delivery to human CD34+ cells, which constitutes the best balance between safety and efficiency. This method will then be used for the delivery of gene editing molecules to edit the a-globin locus.

This is a unique opportunity for a research scientist to contribute to the clinical evaluation of a new gene therapy product.

The position is available for a fixed-term of 12 months in the first instance, with the potential for follow-on funding, and can start immediately.

  • Contact Person : Helen Oldham
  • Vacancy ID : 126114
  • Contact Phone : 01865 220551
  • Closing Date : 25-Nov-2016
  • Contact Email : recruitment@ndcls.ox.ac.uk

The role

Background: Gene Therapy and Gene Editing are exciting research initiatives with many therapeutic applications. We have been developing clinical gene therapies for cystic fibrosis lung disease as part of the UK CF Gene Therapy Consortium. We are now applying our gene therapy skills to the development of vectors to deliver gene editing machinery to hematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of blood disorders. A multi-group, inter-disciplinary collaboration is currently being established to use gene editing to ameliorate β-thalassemia.

Our Aim: Based on clinical genetic evidence, a novel strategy to ameliorate β-thalassemia by down- regulating excess a-globin is being evaluated using site-directed gene editing. The primary aim is to optimise vector delivery to human CD34+ cells, selecting the method constituting the best balance between safety and efficiency. This method will then be used for the delivery of gene editing molecules to edit the a-globin locus.

The position: Applicants are invited for a Research Assistant position at the Oxford University Radcliffe Department of Medicine (NDCLS division) to participate in this new collaborative project. The position is available for 12 months in the first instance, with the strong possibility of renewal. In addition, the skills gained as part of this position will be invaluable to similar, longer-term, positions within the group, which should become available towards the end of 2017. This is a unique opportunity for a research scientist to contribute to the clinical evaluation of a new gene therapy product.

Key Tasks: The successful applicant will train in construction and production of viral and non-viral vectors for gene delivery. Using fluorescently labeled Cas9 we will evaluate both delivery and editing efficiencies using CD34 cord blood cells. Only delivery systems that can be engineered and manufactured to standards for clinical use will be considered, in order to streamline and apply the final strategy therapeutically.

Responsibilities

  • To perform the research experiments comprising this project
  • To adapt and develop experimental protocols as required
  • To contribute to planning, execution and recording of all experiments
  • To prepare data for reports, scientific presentation and abstracts/papers
  • To maintain current knowledge of scientific developments in the relevant areas
  • To attend relevant trainings and workshops as advised by supervisors
  • To undertake general laboratory management duties that may be required

Selection Criteria

Essential

  • Bachelors or Masters degree in a relevant science subject
  • Relevant practical working experience in a laboratory
  • Expertise in molecular biology and cell culture techniques
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills

Desirable, experience in the following areas

  • Electroporation, gene therapy vector technology/production
  • Haematopoietic stem cells
  • Gene editing technology

Monday, June 13th 2016

 

Purifying mRNA from tissue samples.

 

Sheep lung parenchyma (cell nuclei blue) transduced with an adenoviral vector (green).

 

Mouse lung large airway (cell nuclei blue) transduced with an adenoviral vector (green).

 

Light microscope image of a human airway liquid interface cultures. Dark patches are mucous.

 

Proposed 3D model of the CFTR protein.

 

Pellets of DNA following precipitation.

 

DNA fragments being cut from an agarose gel exposed to UV.