View Vacancy -- Senior Researcher - Chemistry NATA 1524

Open Date
29/03/2021, 11:30
Close Date
18/04/2021, 23:55
NATA

The Medical Research Council (part of UKRI) are currently launching a new initiative with a mission to unlock the potential of precision genetic medicines and speed up clinical developments.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of establishing an internationally unique resource (NATA), drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies and anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.

The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs.

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at www.ukri.org

MRC - 3
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£40,016 - £46,643 per annum
N/A
Permanent
Science
Full Time

Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator
The Medical Research Council (MRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), have invested a total of £30m over 4 years through the Strategic Priorities Fund to establish a nucleic acid therapy accelerator (NATA) that will support state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research to solve critical issues in nucleic acid drug delivery, through focused NATA research challenges and a NATA infrastructure hub. This will be an internationally unique resource, drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies, anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.

The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs. This investment will support capacity building in terms of equipment, upskilling and domain expertise that will be essential in developing critical mass to catalyse and de-risk the development of next generation nucleic acid medicines.

The NATA has the opportunity to establish a new industrial sector attracting and developing highly skill jobs with the potential of the UK being the leader in the field where global nucleic acid therapies market is expected to be £6 billion by 2025.

The Role
The senior scientist will be critical in supporting the NATA chemistry department by leading new multidisciplinary projects to accelerate the development of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics. This individual will be involved in the design, development and testing of novel chemical modalities for Nucleic Acid delivery. This position will also include the optimization of the synthesis of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics in the direction of maximizing their potency, minimizing side effects, and employing other beneficial features that improve their therapeutic precision and impact.
The post holder will manage Nucleic Acid Therapeutics projects for various collaborations. They will report to the Head of department.

Responsibilities
• Serve as a project leader to optimize current Nucleic Acid Therapeutic platform in the direction of maximizing their gene silencing potency, minimizing side effects, and employing other beneficial features that make a platform to produce multiple lead compounds.
• Perform literature reviews, design, propose Nucleic Acid benchwork, analyse data and write reports
• Provide regular updates on project status with the Head of Department
• Present research data in partnering meetings and scientific conferences
• Supervise and direct R&D activities at contract research organizations
• Provide scientific guidance, insights, and leadership for Nucleic Acid technology development to colleagues in NATA
• Troubleshoot and maintain synthesis procedures and equipment
• Design and record project plans
• Maintain secure and well-organized and contemporaneous scientific records
• Write and submit manuscripts for publication with the Head of Department
• Support the writing of patents
• Present work internally and at national and international meetings
• Contribute to lab meetings
• Maintain a good knowledge of the relevant literature and of the wider field and actively promote this to the group
• Work effectively with collaborators
• Provide line management support for Junior Scientists and Research Assistants
• Effectively manage resources

Essential selection criteria
• Hold a relevant Ph.D/D.Phil in Chemistry, and postdoctoral experience with an emphasis on oligonucleotides
• In-depth understanding of oligonucleotide modalities, modification chemistries, sequence selection, and mechanism of action is required
• Strong track record of scientific contributions including peer-reviewed first-author publications, patent applications, and/or presentations at major conferences are required
• Strong scientific creativity and leadership to independently design and lead research projects
• Strong problem-solving skills to overcome the scientific challenges
• Experience of characterization and Quality Control of Nucleic Acids
• Experience and knowledge of data analysis and interpretation
• Experience of managing interdisciplinary projects
• Excellent communication skills for data presentation both in-house and external meeting
• Ability to analyse data in the literature and place their own work in the context of work in the field
• Collaborative with the willingness to work with multiple teams in different time zones
• High level of organisational skills, with the ability to manage a broad range of tasks simultaneously and under pressure.
• Capable of critical thinking
• Organised, hard-working with a strong eye for detail and is able to work as part of a team
• Clear affiliation with our vision and values, and a true ambassador for NATA
• Demonstrate ability to mean milestones
• Flexible and adaptable, able to manage changing priorities
• Experience of managing and developing staff

Desirable selection criteria
• Interdisciplinary skill with an emphasis for biology, especially biology validation and toxicology
• Experience of leading research project toward pre-clinical stage
• Experience of biological assays related to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
• Experience of large data set analysis

Closing date: 18th April 2021
The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.