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Research Associate - GlaucoMirs



Role: Research Associate - GlaucoMirs Ref: 1853524

Reports to: Professor Colin Willoughby

Responsible to: Professor Colin willoughby


Job Purpose:

To undertake research as set out in the Fight for Sight Project Grant: GlaucoMirs: MicroRNA-based therapeutics to treat ocular fibrosis in glaucoma.

Main Duties

1. To design, develop and execute a series of experiments to develop miRNA-based therapeutics (GlaucoMirs) to treat TGFβ induced fibrosis in the trabecular meshwork (TM) and in Tenon fibroblasts (TF) to improve the treatment of glaucoma.

2. To confirm and identify GlaucoMirs using miRNA-Seq and analyse and interpret sequencing data.

3. Perform baseline bioinformatics analyses of RNA-Seq data and miRNA modelling.

4. Perform the experimental validation of the impact of identified GlaucoMirs on predicted targets in the TGFβ pathway in trabecular meshwork cells and Tenon fibroblasts.

5. Phenotypic rescue of normal and glaucomatous TM cells and Tenon fibroblasts: development of GlaucoMir therapeutics.

6. Development of miRNA-based glaucoma therapies targeting TGFβ in an ex vivo organ culture glaucoma model.

7. Construct and maintain an ex vivo organ culture model of glaucoma.

8. To conduct cell culture, molecular biology, cell biology, microscopy and any other necessary laboratory techniques including gene editing or gene silencing experiments as directed.

9. To work as part of a collaborative team of geneticists, molecular biologists, bioinformatics
experts and clinical scientists including external partners, to ensure optimal progression of the
project at all times and to contribute to the achievement of project milestones.

10. To present regular written and oral progress reports on research to members of the research
project team and, as appropriate, to other internal or external audiences to disseminate and publicise research findings over the duration of the project.

11. To participate in the education and training of other staff and students (PhD and Undergraduate) as necessary and appropriate, including supervising and coaching less experienced members of the group.

12. To perform routine administrative tasks associated with the research project to ensure that project is completed on time and within budget.

13. To contribute to or take a leadership role in, as appropriate, dissemination of findings through research publications, presentations at meetings, and contribution to the group web site.

14. To attend appropriate scientific seminars, training opportunities and meetings.

15. To actively participate in supporting grant applications and proposals to attract external funding as appropriate.

16. Contribute strongly to the required delivery of the project and collaborate as required with other project partners.

17. Any other duties appropriate to the grade and nature of the post.


The University is committed to developing all employees and operates a Developmental Appraisal Review (DAR) which is mandatory. You will be required to meet with your manager at least once every two years as part of the DAR process. If you have line management responsibility for other staff you will be required to conduct a DAR meeting with your staff at least once every two years.

All staff in the University have a responsibility to comply with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy and Health and Safety Policy. Line Managers have particular responsibility for ensuring compliance with these Policies within their own area.

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Recipient: Prof Colin Willoughby
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