Research Assistant/Associate in Pathogen Genomics

Imperial College London

Job description
Job summary

We are seeking an excellent researcher to work on the development of PCR and sequencing strategies for environmental surveillance samples, with a particular focus on typhoid, paratyphoid and non-typhoidal Salmonella. In preliminary work, we have developed a novel primer scheme to amplify Salmonella Typhi genomic regions that define the genotype and encode antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We are funded by BMGF to optimise this amplicon sequencing approach in silico and in the laboratory, and to extend it to other Salmonella serovars. You will work with research partners in Asia and Africa to implement and test developed assays. There will also be an opportunity to develop pathogen genomic methods for other pathogens in ES samples and to advance the field of wastewater-based epidemiology.

You will work closely with members of the Vaccine Epidemiology Research Group and have access to excellent peer support from with other members of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis. You will also communicate and meet with collaborating scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), CMC Vellore in India and KNUST Ghana and with staff at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The post would be especially suited to an early career laboratory scientist looking to expand their repertoire of skills or to a clinician who wishes to gain laboratory experience. You will be expected to produce high quality research, contribute towards publications in scientific journals, attend and present at conferences and attend meetings with researchers and policy-makers relevant to the field.

Duties and responsibilities

Key objectives are as follows:

  • To optimise laboratory methods for the detection and amplicon sequencing of pathogens from wastewater, focused on Salmonella serovars.
  • To develop and test primer schemes to enable the identification of genotype and antimicrobial resistance for Salmonella Typhi, Paratyphi A, Typhimurium and Enteritidis.
  • To work with colleagues at LSHTM to conduct bioinformatic analysis of sequence data.
  • To support training and implementation of the methods in the laboratories of our research partners in India and Ghana.
  • To interact with other members of the research group and with our national and international partners.

Essential requirements

You should hold a PhD for appointment to Research Associate in molecular biology, biomedical sciences or related discipline with strong laboratory skills and an interest in infectious disease epidemiology and/or vaccine research.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant.

Experience in standard laboratory methods for molecular biology, strong analytical skills, and knowledge of pathogen genomic epidemiology and bioinformatic methods to analyse amplicon sequencing data are essential for the post.

Further information

This role is offered on a full time, fixed term until 31st Oct 2024. College is supportive of flexible working. The College is happy to discuss the possibility of implementing such arrangements for this post, with suitably qualified people, subject to operational requirements.

Should you have any queries please contact: Prof Nicholas Grassly or Dr Alex Shaw


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