View Vacancy -- Molecular Biologist - MLC 2036

Open Date
16/01/2023, 09:00
Close Date
05/02/2023, 23:55
MRC Mary Lyon Centre

The Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell (MLC) https://www.har.mrc.ac.uk/ is located in an expanding science and innovation campus in Oxfordshire and is an internationally renowned centre at the forefront of genetics research.  As the hub of the new National Mouse Genetics Network, the specialist facilities and capabilities of the MLC support a number of research groups across the UK to accelerate our understanding of human diseases, such as cancer, developmental disorders and neurodegeneration.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a great place to work and progress your career.  The MRC encourages the integration of clinical and discovery research to elucidate both disease processes and potential new therapies. The MLC provides vital scientific support for the UK biomedical community and focuses on preclinical research using mouse models, which supports clinical research and therapy discovery. 

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.

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 - 4
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£32,005 per annum
Fixed Term
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time
Until 31 March 2027

Overall Purpose: 

The Mary Lyon Centre (MLC) at the Medical Research Council Harwell Institute requires a skilled molecular biologist to reinforce a busy service that provides support to the UK research community with mouse genome engineering, expression studies and analysis of genetically altered mouse embryos. 

The MCB group at the MLC undertakes generation and quality control of a broad range of targeted alleles as a bespoke service for individual laboratories. The group requires a research specialist in Molecular Biology to provide capacity to evolve and implement complex genome engineering production and validation processes. The post-holder will also provide support for both the design and the analysis of mouse genetic alterations. The post-holder will be based in the Molecular and Cellular Biology group and will coordinate some genome engineering projects and functional analysis studies in in vitro models and/or mouse adult and embryonic tissues. They will work in a twelve-strong team under the guidance of the Molecular and Cellular Biology Deputy Manager.

Strong molecular biology and organisational skills are essential. Experience in either the handling of CRISPR reagents, gene targeting or generation of complex plasmid-based constructs, or previous work with molecular phenotyping in animals is essential.

Main Duties/Key Responsibilities: 

The post-holder will largely be based in the laboratory, not only piloting the implementation of new transgenesis tools and strategies for the group, but also supporting the team in troubleshooting and streamlining current techniques. They will be responsible for the design, implementation, and quality control of new alleles. They will coordinate and/or execute gene-expression studies from culture models or mouse tissues. In addition, they will communicate regularly with MLC’s customers and other relevant MLC departments, and will present the work of the service in conferences and courses.

Duties include:

  • The design and generation of genome engineering strategies and reagents
  • Quality control of genetically modified materials, employing PCR-based and sequencing techniques
  • Genotyping
  • Functional analysis of transgenes at transcript and/or protein level
  • Sample management and communication of results
  • Supporting Molecular and Cellular Biology team members with designing and troubleshooting their tasks
  • Development of new methods for both genome engineering and genotyping of genetically altered mouse lines

Working Relationships: 

The post-holder will create and analyse genetic alterations in the mouse genome as part of the Molecular and Cellular Biology team, under the supervision of the Head of Molecular and Cellular Biology and with the support of research assistants within a twelve-strong team.

The post-holder will help to coordinate work with relevant MLC teams (i.e., Genotyping, Pathology and Gene Delivery teams).

The post-holder will work with service clients requiring new mouse mutants, to gather specifications and communicate on progress. 

Additional Information: 

Some flexible work patterns and occasional weekend work will be required.

Equality & Diversity:

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equality and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local Responsibilities & Requirements:

The post-holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy 

Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal.  Any changes should be made and agreed between the post-holder and their manager. 

The above lists are not exhaustive and the post-holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, cooperatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC. 

Education/Qualifications/Training Required:

Essential: 

  • PhD in Biomedical Sciences (plant or microbiology specialists need not apply), or MSc with a strong track record of relevant molecular biology work 

Desirable: 

  • PhD in Biological Sciences or related area

Previous Work Experience Required:

Essential: 

  • Previous work with genetically modified animal materials
  • Previous experience in genotyping of genetically edited materials
  • Design and implementation of gene targeting and/or genome editing strategies
  • Previous experience with Sanger sequencing DNA sequence analysis software
  • Experience of delivery of scientific projects

 Desirable: 

  • Previous experience with RNA or protein expression assays
  • Experience with long-read sequencing
  • Experience of use of a LIMS
  • Experience of delivery of scientific projects as a customer service
  • Previous work with laboratory animals
  • Previous experience with rodent tissue preparation including trans-cardiac perfusion fixation
  • Experience/understanding of customer service with a record of delivering quality

Knowledge and Experience:

Essential: 

  • Experience of basic molecular biology techniques, including PCR, qPCR, Southern or western blotting
  • Experience of methods employed for mouse genome engineering

 Desirable: 

  • Knowledge of embryonic and/or adult mouse anatomy

Personal skills/Behaviours/Qualities:

Essential: 

  • Organised and hard-working, with a strong eye for detail
  • Ability to handle complex information and work towards targets for deliverables
  • Ability to work well as part of a team. 

Desirable: 

  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with a variety of scientists at all levels, from Principal investigator to research assistants and animal technicians
  • Experience of method development/refinement
  • Experience of handling multiple complex datasets
  • Proven history of efficient time management
  • Working and adhering to standard operating procedures
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.