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Research Fellow in Cancer Molecular Biology



Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have an established background in understanding the molecular basis of cancer? Do you want to further your career in one of the UKs leading research intensive Universities?

V(D)J recombination is vital to generate a diverse antibody repertoire but since this reaction involves the breakage and rejoining of DNA, it also poses a major risk to genome instability. Recently, we found a new way in which V(D)J recombination triggers genome instability: The by-products of recombination associate with the recombinase enzymes to trigger double strand breaks throughout lymphocyte genomes in a reaction we called “cut-and-run”. Notably, these breaks colocalise with those found in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) patients (Kirkham et al., Molecular Cell, 2019). Our previous studies analysed the DNA breaks in ALLs with a good prognosis. This project, funded by the Little Princess Trust, will extend these studies to test if cut-and-run also triggers genome instability in ALLs with a poor prognosis. It will use intricate molecular biology, cell biology and bioinformatics techniques to determine the cut-and-run breaks genome-wide. It will further analyse limited amounts of clinical samples to determine if the levels of the recombination by-product and/or recombinase influence the prognosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. In the longer term, it is hoped these studies will contribute to developing ways of blocking the dangers posed by the recombinase/by-product complex. To increase the chances of success of this short-term project, candidates with an intricate knowledge of V(D)J recombination will be preferred.

You should have a PhD (or close to completion) in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or closely allied discipline. Experience in molecular biology, bioinformatics and the ability to produce high quality data using highly intricate molecular biology techniques is essential.

What does the role entail?

As a Research Fellow your main duties will include:
• Designing, planning and conducting a programme of investigation, in consultation with Dr. Joan Boyes;
• Generating independent and original research ideas and methods to understand how aberrant V(D)J recombination leads to cancer with an aim to extend the Boyes group research portfolio;
• Making a significant contribution to the dissemination of research results by publication in leading peer-reviewed journals, and by presentation at national and international meetings;
• Working independently and as part of a larger team of researchers, both internally and externally, to develop new research links and collaborations and engage in knowledge transfer activities where appropriate;
• Contributing to the supervision of junior researchers and PhD students and acting as a mentor to less experienced colleagues;
• Evaluating methods and techniques used and results obtained by other researchers and relating such evaluations to your own research;
• To contribute to, and to encourage, a safe working environment.

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

What will you bring to the role?

As a Research Fellow you will have:
• A PhD (or close to completion) in molecular biology, biochemistry or a closely allied discipline;
• A demonstrated ability to successfully execute intricate molecular biology techniques;
• Experience in the generation of lentiviruses and cell transduction;
• Experience in CRISPR/Cas9 technologies;
• Experience in the preparation of samples for Next Generation sequencing;
• The ability to accurately analyse Next Generation Sequencing data;
• Excellent bioinformatics skills;
• The ability to reproducibly analyse nanogram quantities of nucleic acids with great precision;
• The ability to design, execute and write up research independently;
• A developing track record of peer reviewed publications in international journals;
• Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal and the ability to communicate your research at national and international conferences;
• Good time management and planning skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines;
• A proven ability to work well both independently and as part of a team;
• Ability to work accurately and carefully;
• A strong commitment to your own continuous professional development

You may also have:
• Experience in:
• The LAM-HTGTS technique;
• Single cell analysis techniques;
• Handling limited amounts of clinical samples.
• Evidence of pursuing external funding to support research.
How to apply

You can apply for this role online; more guidance can be found via the link http://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/FBSMB1188. Applications should be submitted by 23.59 (UK time) on the 22nd April 2021

Your application should include:
• A supporting statement providing evidence to support each requirement listed on the ‘What will you bring to the role’ section of the Candidate Brief (no more than two sides of A4, minimum font size 11);
• An academic curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Joan Boyes
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