Scientist, Target Validation (12 Month Contract)

Primary Responsibility

The role is a 12-month (maternity cover) contract, to start asap

Functional focus: The Target Validation group is responsible for the identification and characterization of tumour antigens. The Biobank team works from within this group to provide samples, data analysis and information across many groups within Research and Development. Desirable skills for this team include those related to gene/protein expression analysis, histology and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).

The purpose of this role is primarily to conduct scientific experiments as necessary within the Biobank team. Whilst initially requiring supervision by a more senior scientist, the job holder will develop scientific skills and undergo required training to work independently on routine experiments. The job holder will also be responsible for the interpretation and presentation of their data.


Key Responsibilities

  1. 60% Wet-lab based: Processing (fixing, embedding and sectioning) of human samples, as well as sample QC by immunohistochemistry, in-situ hybridisation and bright/fluorescent microscopy. Work will also include molecular biology techniques such as RT-PCR, qPCR and digital PCR (dPCR).  Finally, the role entails preparation of whole transcriptome libraries for NGS on the Ion Torrent platform.
  2. 30% Computer based: Sample tracking, data analysis and the ability to summarise and record experimental results (electronic laboratory notebook ELN). The job holder will be required to maintain relevant databases and records (Labware LIMS) and comply with Human Tissue Authority (HTA) requirements (training provided).
  3. 5%: Participate in project meetings and discussions.
  4. 5%: Routine lab maintenance


Qualifications & Experience


  • Degree in Life Sciences or related discipline, with relevant postgraduate experience.
  • Experience of laboratory procedures, with previous experience in histological techniques and/or gene and protein expression analysis.
  • Experience of NGS would be highly desirable.


  • Additional post-graduate scientific experience or qualifications, such as an M.Sc. or PhD


Skills & Competencies


  • Computer literate, with the ability to familiarise oneself with different IT systems
  • Excellent numeracy and English language skills (both written and verbal)
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Ability to follow protocols with limited supervision (once trained)
  • Ability to learn and develop in order to work independently
  • Good time management skills with the ability to work to deadlines and adapt quickly to a change in priority
  • Ability to use standard laboratory equipment (such as pipettes, pH meters, centrifuges)
  • Understand importance of good experimental design (use of controls, etc.)
  • Strong team player with excellent attention to detail.


  • Use of more specialist lab equipment:
  • Automated RNA/DNA purification systems (Maxwell)
  • Quantification systems (Nanodrop, Qubit, Tapestation)
  • Real-time PCR (Quantstudio-7, QuantStudio 3D Digital PCR)
  • NGS platform (Ion Torrent)


Decision Making Authority

Week-to-week management of own experiments with input from line manager.

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