Research Scientist (Infection Metagenomics)
Post Details
Job Title
Research Scientist (Infection Metagenomics)
Post Number
1003990
Closing Date
28 Jan 2021
Grade
SC5 or SC6
Starting Salary
£32,255 - £49,750
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Development of key technologies for real-time diagnosis, surveillance and intervention of resistant-bacterial infections based on nanopore sequencing.
Months Duration
18
Interview Date
05 Feb 2021

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Optimise, transfer and implement a clinical metagenomics test for the diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection.
Candidates with substantial experience will be considered for the Senior Research Scientist post, at grade SC5. Candidates at an earlier stage in their career will be considered for the Research Scientist post, at grade SC6.

Key Relationships

The post holder will work closely with a Chinese diagnostics company (Simcere), Chinese hospitals and a UK SME (Oppilotech).

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Implement nanopore metagenomics technology developed in the O'Grady group (recently published in Nature Biotechnology) for the rapid diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection in Chinese hospitals.
Liaise regularly with a UK SME (Oppilotech), a Chinese diagnostics company (Simcere) and Chinese hospitals in Beijing.
Contribute to further metagenomics method development/optimisation, method transfer to Chinese collaborators and method validation.
Report writing
For senior (SC5) appointments only: bioinformatic method development/optimisation; project management; writing protocols or clinical studies.
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post.

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD in biological sciences or equivalent
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Genomics/Metagenomics
Essential
Interest in infectious diseases
Essential
Bioinformatics (essential for senior SC5 appointments)
Desirable
Diagnostics
Desirable
Sample preparation
Desirable
Project management (essential for senior SC5 appointments)
Desirable
Diagnostic performance evaluation
Desirable
Microbiological culture
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Molecular biology and sequencing experience
Essential
A publication track record appropriate for career stage
Essential
Experience of scientific collaboration and supervision
Essential
Experience using nanopore sequencing
Desirable
Experience with host cell/DNA depletion, pathogen cell/DNA enrichment
Desirable
Experience with respiratory samples
Desirable
Experience running research projects (essential for senior SC5 appointments)
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Ability to cooperate to reach a common goal
Essential
Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
Essential
The ability to make decisions and take responsibility
Essential
The ability to manage deadlines and work well under pressure
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well as part of a team
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Mandarin language skills
Desirable

Who We Are

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.

The Quadram Institute is a diverse and multicultural scientific community. We thrive on our international and European links, appointing staff from across the world. Any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

For more information about working at Quadram Institute Bioscience, please click here.

Department

Microbes in the Food Chain

Group Details

The O'Grady lab is part of the Microbial Metagenomics Research Laboratory (MMRL), which focusses on translating metagenomics technologies for investigating human pathogens in different sample types.

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Advert Text

Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to join the laboratory of Dr Justin O’Grady at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.

The role:

The O’Grady group wishes to recruit an enthusiastic Research Scientist to work on an exciting prestigious Innovate UK UK-China AMR grant titled “Development of key technologies for real-time diagnosis, surveillance and intervention of resistant-bacterial infections based on nanopore sequencing”.

The application of sequencing for tracking and monitoring infections has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by COG-UK (O’Grady site PI - https://www.cogconsortium.uk/). The successful candidate will join a world leading group at the cutting edge of sequencing technology and its clinical implementation for the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases (see recent paper https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-019-0156-5/metrics).

The successful candidate will further develop and implement clinical metagenomics technology developed in the O’Grady group (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.26.20229989v1.full) for the rapid diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection. The post holder will work closely with a UK SME (Oppilotech), a Chinese diagnostics company (Simcere) and hospitals in Beijing.

The job will involve metagenomics method optimisation, technology transfer, analytical and clinical validation and the co-ordination of a diagnostics trial. Candidates with substantial experience will be considered for a Senior Research Scientist post, at grade SC5. Candidates at an earlier stage in their career will be considered for the Research Scientist post, at grade SC6. Additional duties for an SC5 appointment include developing bioinformatic methods, project management activities and protocol writing.

There will be the opportunity for travel to China (Beijing/Nanjing/Shanghai) 2-3 times per year for up to two weeks (candidates who speak Mandarin are very welcome to apply). There will also be the opportunity for the Research Scientist to develop their own relevant research interests and we actively encourage staff to apply for fellowships and grants to further their career.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates should have a PhD in biological sciences or equivalent. They will have a background in genomics, metagenomics or molecular biology and will have an interest in infectious diseases. Relevant skills in data analysis, diagnostics and running research projects are an advantage. The ideal candidate will also have a publication track record appropriate for their career stage, and experience of scientific collaboration and supervision.

Applicants wishing to be considered for the senior SC5 appointment should also have excellent bioinformatics and project management skills.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £32,255 to £49,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a fulltime post for a period of 18 months.

Interviews are expected to be held on 5th February 2021.

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.

About the Quadram Institute:

The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to understanding how food and microbes interact to promote health and prevent disease. Its mission is to deliver healthier lives through innovation in gut health, microbiology and food. A partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and BBSRC, it brings together scientists and clinicians in a state-of-the-art building on the Norwich Research Park. This is one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute.