Research Associate in Microfluidics and Synthetic Cells

Imperial College London Department of Chemical Engineering

United Kingdom

Job summary

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London is seeking a Research Associate to work on a recently awarded BBSRC/NSF grant which aims to build a synthetic Eukaryotic cell.  We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate to join the Artificial Cell Engineering Group and work on this project under the supervision of Yuval Elani. Biological cells, at their core, are simply a complex web of interacting molecules. Given this,...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01978
  • Date posted 16 December 2021
  • Closing date 31 January 2022

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington and White City Campus
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £41,593 – £49,210 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London is seeking a Research Associate to work on a recently awarded BBSRC/NSF grant which aims to build a synthetic Eukaryotic cell.  We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate to join the Artificial Cell Engineering Group and work on this project under the supervision of Yuval Elani.

Biological cells, at their core, are simply a complex web of interacting molecules. Given this, we can ask the questions: what if we could create entirely artificial cells from scratch? Can we make life from inanimate matter? Can we engineer artificial cells as micromachines which perform bespoke functions in industrial and clinical settings? Answering these questions will pave the way for disruptive applications, transform our understanding of biology by building a new biology, and shed light on the philosophical question of what it means for something to be alive.

This post offers an excellent opportunity for academic career advancement in Europe’s number one hub for chemical biology and synthetic biology. Imperial College’s synthetic biology facilities are second-to-none, and include the fabriCELL centre for artificial cell research, and the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology.

Duties and responsibilities

This project is a part of a unique trans-Atlantic collaboration between Imperial College (UK) and Caltech (USA). You will form part of a multi-disciplinary team of experimentalists and modellers. There will be the opportunity for visits and placements in California.

In this project, the candidate will develop new microfluidic technologies to generate synthetic cells based on lipid vesicles. These will be engineered to have user-defined levels of compartmentalisation, and will possess organelles dedicated to performing specific functions. This will involve developing microfluidics and working with novel polymer and lipid membranes and cell-free protein expression systems. The ultimate aim is to use these cells as models to understand the design rules that underpin the architecture of cells. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Take initiatives in the planning of your research, as well as help to direct the work of small research teams within the Elani group, including undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Identify and develop new microfluidic, soft matter, and/or synthetic biology technologies to build synthetic cells. 
  • Help manage the day-to-day operation of the Elani group
  • Work with collaborators at Imperial and Caltech to complete project objectives. 
  • Prepare publications for submission to refereed journals
  • Attend relevant workshops/conferences as well as research visits to our project collaborators in California

Essential requirements

The successful applicant must hold a PhD in Chemistry, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience.

Multi-disciplinary expertise in one or more of the following areas is essential: microfluidics, chemical biology, synthetic biology, soft matter and/or membrane biophysics. 

Further information

Further Information

* Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant (£36,694 - £39,888)

The post is available from March 2022 for up to 24 months and will be based in the White City and South Kensington Campus.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Dr Yuval Elani (y.elani@imperial.ac.uk)

To apply, please click the Apply now button at the top of the page. Please ensure you include a completed application form with your submission.

Further information about the post is available in the job description.

Closing date: Midnight on January 31st, 2022

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact chemeng.staffing@imperial.ac.uk

For technical issues when applying online, please contact: support@jobs@imperial.ac.uk.

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

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.


In your application, please refer to Professorpositions.com

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