Virome Postdoctoral Research Assistant

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Quadram Institute Bioscience

The Quadram Institute is at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health, developing solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health.

We are engaged in fundamental and translational food and health research, alongside clinical studies, endoscopy and industry, working together to become a leading international hub for food and health research, combining scientific excellence and clinical expertise, delivering impacts on patient care and accelerating innovation.

In preparation for the full opening of the Quadram Institute in 2018, the Institute of Food Research transitioned into Quadram Institute Bioscience on April 28th 2017.

Post Details

Job Title
Virome Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Post Number
1003461
Closing Date
5 Jun 2018
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Virome Research Associate/Postdoctoral Fellow
Expected/Ideal Start Date
03 Sep 2018
Months Duration
42

Main Purpose of the Job

Working on expanding understanding of the relevance of specific bacteriophage groups that are associated with key stages of the life course, and in particular in early and later life.

The post holder will be based at the Quadram Institute but will work closely with Prof Martha Clokie's bacteriophage research group in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at Leicester University. Working across the two research groups in Norwich and Leicester, the post holder will contribute to obtaining a more detailed understanding of the development and function of key bacteriophage groups within the intestinal microbiota during the first few (0-3) years of life and in later life in individuals at risk of developing dementia that will utilise both culture-dependent and independent methods and protocols for phage isolation and characterisation.

Department

Gut Microbes and Health

Group Details

The Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB) based Gut Microbes and Health institute strategic programme (GMH-ISP) aims to obtain mechanistic knowledge on the role of the gut microbiome during normal healthy ageing in order to develop strategies that will improve lifelong health and wellbeing. The multidisciplinary programme uses innovative in vivo, in vitro, and in silico tools/models in tandem with key longitudinal cohorts, to define and refine novel intervention strategies that will promote gut and gut-organ-linked (brain and liver) health. This multi-disciplinary research is managed by nine QIB and four university based research leaders totalling of 30-40 scientists, that maps to three overlapping research themes. 1: Determinants of microbe-host responses in the gut across life and determining how microbes (bacterial, archaea, viral, fungal) establish and maintain a balanced community. 2: Changes in gut microbe-host interactions and their impact beyond the gut and on the brain. 3: Modulation of the gut microbes to promote health throughout life.

The Clokie group at Leicester University undertakes pioneering research in both fundamental and translational phage biology. The research has particularly focussed on isolating and characterising bacteriophages and in establishing good bacterial-phage model systems in order to obtain a mechanistic understanding of their biology. Significant progress has been made with the gut pathogen Clostridium difficile, for which very few phages were previously known or well characterised. Knowledge gained from this system has been applied to other ‘difficult’ systems and have established how to work with Streptococcus phages, and several other bacterial species. The group comprises 12-15 scientists working on projects that are funded by the Gates Foundation the BBSRC/Innovate UK which are looking at removing enteric pathogens from the human and agriculture environment using bacteriophages.

Advert Text

Virome Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Applications are invited for an exceptional Postdoctoral Research Assistant to join an exciting project managed jointly by Quadram Institute Bioscience and the University of Leicester.

About the Quadram Institute Bioscience:

The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research. It brings together clinical and non-clinical scientists in a new state-of-the-art building due for completion in 2018. It is based on the Norwich Research Park, one of the largest centres of life sciences in Europe, and home of the John Innes Centre, The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, The Earlham Institute and the University of East Anglia.

The role:

We are now seeking applications from highly committed, motivated and talented postdoctoral researchers for a fixed term 42 month post available from September 2018 to work on a joint project with Leicester University investigating the human intestinal virome and the relevance of specific bacteriophage groups that are associated with key stages of the life course, and in particular in early and later life.

The post holder will be responsible for the design and execution of experiments utilising both culture-dependent and independent methods and protocols for phage isolation and characterisation using samples obtained from young and elderly subjects that are part of two longitudinal population based studies undertaken at the Quadram Institute. While based at the Quadram Institute the candidate will spend time at the University of Leicester to acquire relevant skills and develop protocols for bacteriophage characterisation.

The ideal candidate:

To be considered for this role, candidates should possess a PhD or equivalent in biological sciences or microbiology. It is essential that candidates have experience or knowledge of the latest techniques and experimental systems for studying bacteriophages. A good record of first author publications in high quality peer reviewed journals is also important.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post for a period of 42 months.

To apply, please upload your CV, covering letter and a one page summary of your research to our jobs portal https://jobs.quadram.ac.uk/ For further information please contact the Human Resources team quoting reference 1003461 on 01603 450462 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society. The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values. To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy

Key Relationships

Line Managers:
Prof Simon Carding, Head GMH-ISP, Quadram Institute
Prof Martha Clokie, Dept. Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Leicester University
The post holder will be required to work closely with both postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists in the GMH-ISP and in the Clokie group.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Undertake laboratory experiments involving bacteriophage isolation, propagation and genetic characterisation
70
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
5
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
5
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements
5
Contribute to the smooth running of the groups, including the effective use of resources, supervision of visitors to the laboratory and assisting with training others, encouraging scientific excellence
5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
5
As agreed with line managers, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post
5

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD or equivalent in biological sciences/microbiology
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Virology
Essential
Bacteriophage biology
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Previous postdoctoral experience in molecular and/or cellular microbiology
Essential
First author publications in high quality peer-reviewed journals
Essential
Bioinformatics knowledge
Essential
Bacterial biology
Essential
Molecular biology
Essential
Genomic and transcriptomic analysis
Essential
Light/uv microscopy
Desirable
GI tract physiology/biology
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring postgraduate students
Essential
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with ability to work as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Willingness to travel within and outside of UK for collaborator visits and to attend scientific meetings
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential