Postdoctoral Research Scientist

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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
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Closing Date
2 Dec 2018
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Gut Microbiome and bacteriotherapy for treatment of microbiome associated disorders
Expected/Ideal Start Date
07 Jan 2019
Months Duration
36

Main Purpose of the Job

Investigate the application of faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders as well as other microbiome associate diseases. The teams at Quadram Institute Bioscience and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are already using FMT to successfully treat patients with recurrent CDI and are planning to further expand the application of this technology. The post holder will analyse the dynamics of the alteration in the structure and function of the microbiome in FMT treatment using high throughput metagenomics sequencing and metabolomics platforms. They will also lead the work to refine the protocols to optimise the delivery and efficacy of the procedures. The post holder will also contribute to the preparation of applications for the ethical approval for FMT-related research using the IRAS system. They will be involved in the management of the relevant clinical trials, and contribute to impact activities by giving talks at external industry platforms and relevant scientific meetings and by writing manuscripts. The candidates will also be expected to supervise students. This is project presents an opportunity to develop links with clinicians and develop transferable skills in NHS-related research.

Department

Gut Microbes and Health

Group Details

The Narbad group at QIB has broad interest in microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract and the role of the complex gut microbiome in health and disease. We are also investigating the application of competitive exclusion in humans to combat bacterial infections. We use a combination of techniques, including in vitro colon models, tissue culture, metagenomics, metabolomics, to investigate the mechanism of competitive exclusion, with the objective of designing probiotic strains with improved functionality. Ian Charles research group focuses on the genomics, metagenomics and ecology of microorganisms in the food chain, specifically in relation to the acquisition and transmission of antimicrobial resistance determinants and virulence factors. We work closely with the group of Dr Ngozi Elumogo, Consultant Microbiologist and Chief of Service, Laboratory Medicine and Eastern Pathology Alliance at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to undertake human intervention and clinical trials of bacteriotherapy to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infections.

Advert Text

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the Laboratory of Professor Arjan Narbad in the Gut Microbes and Health Programme at the Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB).

The role:

We are seeking an experienced Microbiologist/Molecular biologist with an interest in human studies to join us in ground-breaking research to investigate the application of faecal microbiota transplant (FMT), for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and other microbiome associated diseases. In partnership with NNUH, we have already used FMT to successfully treat patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection and are about to further expand the application of this technology in a new custom-built laboratory.

The post holder will analyse the dynamics of the alteration in the structure and function of the microbiome in FMT treatment, using both high throughput metagenomics sequencing and metabolomics platforms. The post holder will take the lead in refining the protocols to optimise the delivery and efficacy of these cutting-edge new procedures. This role gives an unrivalled opportunity to perform innovative science that can directly benefit public health outcomes.

If successful in applying for this role you will work in close collaboration with the clinician Dr Ngozi Elumogo at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) as well as working as part of the Narbad laboratory and managing a number of students. You will contribute to the preparation of applications for the ethical approval for FMT-related research, and you will also be involved in the management of the clinical trials. This is an opportunity to contribute to high impact activities by presenting research findings at national and international events and meetings, as well as by writing high profile manuscripts.

This project presents a unique opportunity to develop links with scientists and clinicians, and work at the forefront of the interface between microbiology, gut biology and the health service.

The ideal candidate:

You will possess a PhD/MD in Molecular Biology or Microbiology, as well as having practical experience of working in both these areas.

Ideally you will also have practical experience, (or at the very least a good understanding of) the principles of FMT, as well as experience of microbial community profiling and experience of conducting human studies, though we recognise that having all three of these is unusual, so we will also be considering strong candidates who just have two of these.

For this role, excellent organisational and communication skills are also essential.

About the Quadram Institute:

The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research. Its mission is to understand how food and the gut microbiota are linked to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. The partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience (formerly the Institute of Food Research), the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and BBSRC, uniquely brings together scientists and clinicians in the all new state-of-the-art QI building. The Quadram Institute is based on the Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute.

About the Narbad Group:

The Narbad group at QIB has a broad interest in microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract and the role of the complex gut microbiome in health and disease. We are using biocontrol strategies including, bacteriocins, phage endolysins, faecal microbiota transplant and competitive exclusion to combat bacterial infections. We use a combination of techniques, including in vitro colon models, tissue culture, metagenomics, and metabolomics, to investigate the structure and function of the gut microbiome, and how this may be manipulated to promote good health.

Additional information:

We are offering a competitive salary which on appointment will be between £31,250 to £38,100 per annum, depending on your qualifications and experience.

This is a full-time contract for a period of 3 years.

If you choose to apply for this exciting opportunity, please submit a CV with a covering letter which clearly outlines how you meet the required criteria for this post. Please note, CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

QIB is committed to equal opportunities and we 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 cr

Key Relationships

The successful candidate will be responsible for experimental research under the supervision of Prof Arjan Narbad and Dr Ngozi Elumogo. They will work closely with clinicians and hospital staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for recruitment and collection of patient samples. They will also collaborate with group of Prof Ian Charles for the DNA sequencing analysis work and with QIB bioinformaticians

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Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Metagenomics and metabolomics analysis of complex microbial communities
30
Collection, recording, processing and storage of samples from study participants
20
Recruitment of study subjects from those patients attending NNUH clinics as well as healthy volunteer subjects
15
Manage ethical approval to conduct human trails with FMT.
15
Optimisation and improvement of FMT procedures
10
Written communication of results and preparation of results for publication
5
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post
5

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD/MD in Molecular Biology or Microbiology
Essential
Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training
Desirable

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent organisation skills and proven experience of conducting effective research
Essential
Good understanding of ethics in relation to research studies
Desirable
Previous experience of supervising students
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Practical experience of microbiology/molecular biology
Essential
In addition to practical experience of microbiology/molecular biology, two or more of the Relevant Experience criteria listed below:
Essential
Practical experience or a good understanding of the principles of faecal microbiota transplants.
Desirable
Practical experience of microbial community profiling.
Desirable
Practical experience of conducting human studies.
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Able to work effectively as part of a team
Essential
Ability to effectively liaise with study participants, clinicians and researchers
Essential
Good written and verbal communication skills
Essential
Experience of giving oral research presentations
Desirable

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Excellent attention to detail
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of the Institute
Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
Essential