View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Cell Biology - Dr Madeline Lancaster - LMB 2041
The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies. The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease. We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.
There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology. However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive. Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.
The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers. Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.
To work within the Group of Dr Madeline Lancaster in the Cell Biology Division at the LMB within an overall programme that uses organoid systems to investigate development of the human brain. Specifically, to undertake research to investigate evolutionary genetic changes in great apes that may be mechanistically responsible for progenitor expansion in humans.
Recent work in the Lancaster lab has revealed a key difference in human cortical progenitors whereby founder stem cells delay their fate transition to enable more extensive proliferation prior to the onset of neurogenesis compared with other great apes. This difference helps explain the greatly enlarged cerebral cortex in humans. Several factors have been identified to be key for this transition, but exactly which genetic changes are responsible for delayed transition is still unknown.
This project will explore underlying genetic and cell biological mechanisms that set the human developing cortex apart. Currently, there are several hypotheses, and various methodological approaches could be used, and the project would thus benefit from independent ideas from a highly motivated individual.
• To undertake research aimed at human brain development and evolution using organoids.
• To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.
• To present scientific work at seminars within the laboratory and at external meetings.
• To contribute to laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the field.
• To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
• To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
• To assist in the training of PhD students and other members of the LMB.
Within the overall direction of the programme, the group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within a 3-year lifespan.
To plan your own work and objectives on a 12-month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.
To work with independence to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.
To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.
To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.
To contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.
To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.
You will report to Dr Madeline Lancaster and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support staff and students, not only in your group, but also across the LMB and with external groups as necessary.
This is a 3-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:
• MRC training courses.
• External training and personal development courses.
• One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.
You will commit to undertaking the following:
• Developing and following a personal development plan.
• Attending training courses.
• Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.
A PhD in a relevant subject or due to complete PhD within 6 months.
Technical skills and expertise:
Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project.
Particularly useful would be experience in developmental biology, either through in vitro models or in vivo research. Experience with pluripotent stem cells and their in vitro differentiation, ideally in 3D models such as organoids, would be advantageous. Experience in genetic manipulation (e.g. CRISPR), as well as next generation sequencing techniques such as RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, etc. would be helpful.
Track record of research:
This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers. The successful candidate should be able to show evidence of recognition in their field through presentation at national and international conferences, peer reviewed publications and other recognitions.
Other relevant evidence of:
• Ability to communicate.
• Working with others.
Experience in developmental neuroscience would be helpful but not necessary.
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.