Research Assistant (Fixed Term) (Avian Influenza)

  • Cambridge
  • Salary: £27,116-£31,406

We are pleased to advertise a Research Assistant position in Dr Anna Protasio’s group to investigate the “patho-biome” of migratory and resident bird species.

Our group is interested in understanding the occurrence of pathogens in wild bird populations, with an emphasis on pathogens of zoonotic potential.

Seasonal avian influenza outbreaks, that follow the migration routes of some bird species, have highlighted the importance of wild birds in the global circulation of pathogens.

Viral and bacterial infections arising from wild birds often result in disease outbreaks in humans and domestic animals.

Current approaches to controlling outbreaks of bird-transmitted pathogens in the UK are solely based on voluntary reporting of dead birds, expert inspections at poultry farms and educational campaigns aimed at bird keepers.

However, by the time an outbreak is identified in farms or pets, the causative pathogen may already be rampant in the wild.

Our project applies low-intervention techniques coupled with state-of-the art DNA/RNA sequencing and bioinformatics to detect key pathogens in bird faeces, establishing an avian “patho-biome” research platform.

The post-holder will carry out a range of molecular biology techniques including DNA/RNA extractions, end-point and real-time PCR and preparations of samples for sequencing.

In addition, they will oversee the general upkeeping of the laboratory, creating and maintaining SOPs and risk assessment.

They will have the opportunity to accompany the team in UK-based field work sampling expeditions and to participate in other aspects of the work carried out in our group.

Candidates should have a BSc in a biological subject, with knowledge of molecular biology and a proactive approach to learning new protocols.

Previous experience with LIMS and capacity to handle large collections of samples are advantageous.

This position requires attention to detail, the ability to plan, execute and record a large collection of diverse experimental results.

The post-holder will also have the capacity to make independent decisions and solve routine problems encountered in the lab. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential.

This position is available full-time from 1 April 2022 for 12 months.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements.

We welcome applications from candidates from a BME background for this vacancy, as they are currently under-represented at this level in our department.

To apply to this post, submit a CV and motivation letter detailing why you want to be part of this project and how this post will contribute to your career.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Applications are welcome from internal candidates who would like to apply for the role on the basis of a secondment from their current role in the University.

Click the ‘Apply’ button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

For further details or informal enquiries please contact Jodi Smith via email (hr@path.cam.ac.uk).

Please quote reference PK29699 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

To apply for this job email your details to avp25@cam.ac.uk.