21 Oct

Research Scientist Molecular Biology Jobs Vacancy at Pirbright Pirbright

Research Scientist Molecular Biology
Pirbright ENG
21 Oct, 2019 24 days ago

Pirbright Pirbright urgently required following position for Research Scientist Molecular Biology. Please read this job advertisement carefully before apply. There are some qualifications, experience and skills requirement that the employers require. Does your career history fit these requirements? Ensure you understand the role you are applying for and that it is suited to your skills and qualifications.

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Research Scientist Molecular Biology Jobs Vacancy at Pirbright Pirbright Jobs Details:

Organisation position and purpose

This position is part of a multi-institution project led by The Pirbright Institute to develop genetic methods to reduce the spread of flaviviruses; key collaborators are University of Tartu, Estonia and University of Nottingham, UK. Flaviviruses include a range of important pathogens including dengue, Zika, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. This project builds in part on a successful ongoing collaboration including the same partners to engineer mosquitoes with reduced ability to transmit alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus.

Insect synthetic biologists are beginning to develop the technical ability to manipulate wild populations by introgressing into them synthetic genes and traits (gene introgression refers to the introduction and perhaps spread of a gene into a target population). There are a several potentially interesting candidate traits for such an approach, including reduced-vector-competence (reduced ability to transmit a pathogen, for example dengue or Zika viruses), or reduced-fitness (leading to suppression or elimination of the target population).

Dengue, Zika and other established or emerging arboviral diseases impose significant morbidity and mortality. In few cases are licensed drugs or vaccines available. However, the dependence of these viruses on specific mosquito species, combined with recent advances in mosquito synthetic biology, potentially provides new approaches. We will engineer the major vector mosquito Aedes aegypti to reduce its ability to transmit selected flaviviruses. A key aspect is to develop broad-spectrum methods that will inhibit spread of multiple viruses, and thereby provide a tool for control of yet-unknown emerging viruses in this family, as well as for known ones. We will focus on methods to kill cells on infection so that they are unable to support virus transmission. This approaches is inspired by natural anti-virus defence mechanisms and uses components and designs based on our strong collective track record in molecular virology and mosquito synthetic biology. We will pursue several technical approaches in parallel (i) to mitigate the risk that one of these ambitious approaches may not fully achieve its design goals; (ii) to provide multiple independent means to interfere with virus transmission, which in combination would greatly reduce the possibility of virus escape mutants.

The post-holder will report to Dr Sanjay Basu and through him to the Group Leader, Arthropod Genetics, Prof Luke Alphey. The post-holder will be expected to contribute to the design, construction and analysis of novel DNA elements. The post-holder will also be expected to help maintain and strengthen the Group’s collaborative links with other research groups both nationally and internationally.

Main duties and responsibility

The successful applicant’s work will focus on the development and analysis of new tools and strategies for the genetic control of pest insects. Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Responsible for molecular biology, which will include:

  • Plasmid design and construction using a wide range of techniques including among others: PCR primer design, restriction digests, ligation, transformation into bacteria, Sanger sequencing and analysis
  • PCR analysis (incl. qPCR)
  • Luciferase experiments and sample analysis
  • Synthetic biology approach and application
  • Cell culture for mammalian and arthropod cell lines
  • Transfection of mammalian and arthropod cell lines
  • In vitro infection and analysis
  • In vivo (vector-virus) studies

Responsible for working as part of an established team, which will include:

  • Communicating progress and data, including reporting progress to the consortium and funding agency as required and preparing manuscripts for publication

This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. The jobholder will carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by his/her line manager. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of The Pirbright Institute.

All employees shall actively participate in the Institute-wide quality assurance system in conjunction with the Institute’s Quality Manager. Employees are also expected to safeguard their own health and safety and security by following policies and all employees are responsible for the Health and Safety and security of staff under their management.

Personal specification

Enthusiastic, energetic, intellectually engaged, results-oriented, time management skills, reliability under pressure, decision-making and problem-solving skills, ability to delegate, negotiation and conciliation skills, business planning skills

Specific requirements


  • A bachelor’s or Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Significant bench experience in a recognised R&D environment
  • An excellent record of research productivity, relative to experience
  • Evidence of experience and vision in scientific research
  • Experience of plasmid design and construction
  • Enthusiasm for molecular biology and genetics research
  • Evidence of good oral and written communication skills including the ability to communicate effectively within a team


  • Experience of cell culture and aseptic techniques
  • Experience of specialised molecular biology software
  • Evidence of networking skills with the ability to build effective collaborative relationships
  • Capacity to travel within UK and overseas, with long hours and occasional overnight or longer stays

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