Research Associate in Microfluidics and Cancer

Imperial College London Department of Bioengineering

Job summary

This is a unique opportunity for cross-disciplinary research at the interface of microfluidics, organ-on-chip technologies and cancer biology. You candidate will join a dynamic collaborative team of researchers at Imperial College led by Dr Sam Au (www.biomicrotech.science) and at the CRUK Manchester Institute led by Prof Caroline Dive (https://www.cruk.manchester.ac.uk/Our-Research/Cancer-Biomarker-Centre).   The ability of solid tumours to...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01639
  • Date posted 9 April 2021
  • Closing date 9 May 2021

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington Campus (map)
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £40,858 – £48,340 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Bioengineering
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

This is a unique opportunity for cross-disciplinary research at the interface of microfluidics, organ-on-chip technologies and cancer biology. You candidate will join a dynamic collaborative team of researchers at Imperial College led by Dr Sam Au (www.biomicrotech.science) and at the CRUK Manchester Institute led by Prof Caroline Dive (https://www.cruk.manchester.ac.uk/Our-Research/Cancer-Biomarker-Centre).  

The ability of solid tumours to connect to the general vasculature provides them with access to vital nutrients and routes for distant organ metastasis. While the formation of new blood vessels by endothelial cells (angiogenesis) is well studied, an alternative, tumour-autonomous mechanism of vessel genesis called vasculogenic mimcry (VM) is more poorly understood. VM correlates with poor prognosis in multiple cancers but we do not have good models for understanding the cellular/microenvironmental conditions that drive VM as well as the transport capabilities of these vessels.

The goals of this project are to develop next generation tumour-on-chip microfluidic devices to a) study the cellular and microenvironmental conditions that drive VM in small cell lung cancer, b) explore the ability of such vessels to transport cells and fluids and c) investigate potential approaches to inhibit VM. You will benefit from the expertise of the Au Lab in microfluidic models of the human vasculature (PNAS, 2016) and the Dive’s Lab expertise in the use of patient derived cellular models (Nature Medicine, 2014) to understand the molecular drivers within small cell lung cancer (Nature Medicine, 2017).

This project is generously funded by Cancer Research UK and EPSRC through a multidisciplinary award. You will be primarily hosted at Imperial College, but will meet regularly with all team members and will spend some months hosted at CRUK Manchester Institute for training and skills transfer. Housing and some subsistence costs will be fully covered while you are seconded to CRUK Manchester.

After completion of the term, you will be well equipped for in-demand careers with many of the following skills: cell & tissue culture, cancer biology, microscopy, molecular techniques, organ-on-a-chip, drug screening, cleanroom microfabrication, computer-assisted design, statistical analysis, computational modelling, scientific writing/presentation skills and project management.

Another exciting research associate post is currently available in the Au Lab, visit www.imperial.ac.uk/jobs and search by the job reference ENG01641. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply to both posts if interested. 

Duties and responsibilities

    • To take plan and conduct laboratory experiments
    • To collaborative effectively within and across research groups, including providing guidance to students
    • To maintain highly organised and accurate record of experimental work.
    • To publish in high quality journals and to present data at national and international conferences
    • To contribute to the smooth running of laboratories and facilities

Essential requirements

    • You should hold a PhD in Engineering, Biology, or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience.
    • Practical experience within a research environment and/or publication in relevant and refereed journals
    • Experimental experience in at least one of microfluidics, microfabrication, cell biology or cancer
    • Experience in both microfluidics and life sciences are desired, but not essential as relevant training will be provided.  

Further information

This post is full time and fixed term for 33 months subject to successful completion of a probationary period.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045 - £39,183 per annum.

Closing date: 09 May 2021

For informal enquiries about the post, please contact Dr Sam Au at s.au@imperial.ac.uk . Further information can be found at www.biomicrotech.science

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research