This is a two-year position is for a technical research assistant with experience in the running of immunology assays, including cell culture, flow cytometry and biochemical assays. The role focuses on supporting a larger research team in the study of whether an unique potential for activating T cells is provided by proprietary antibody-based reagents that have been developed by the study sponsor (Elstar Therapeutics) and that engage germline-encoded domains of the V-beta chains of the alpha-beta T cell receptor. This is an extremely important project for several reasons.
Adrian Hayday's laboratory has identified a set of butyrophilin-like (BTNL) molecules that critically regulate gamma delta T cell selection and maturation by engaging engage germline-encoded domains of the V-gamma chains of the gamma-delta T cell receptor. Moreover, the laboratory has proposed that the unique biological activities of BTNLs reflects their site-of-engagement on the TCR. If analogous signalling is induced by antibody-based reagents that engage analogous sites on V-beta, the “Hayday hypothesis” would receive strong support, and would argue that T cell receptors should no longer be viewed entirely as clonotypic receptors activated by antigens engaging exclusively unique CDR3 motifs. This would provide a new biological paradigm for human T cell regulation. The proprietary reagents provided by Elstar offer an unique opportunity to investigate this.
There is intense interest in mechanisms by which T cells can be activated without inducing widespread cytokine release and other aspects of hyperactivation that are commonly associated with the use of the pan T cell activator, anti-CD3. Clearly, V-beta-specific reagents potentially offer a means to activate a defined subset of T cells with immunotherapeutic potential.
Any identification of an unique signalling induced by engaging V-beta could form the basis of a screen for identifying endogenous, BTNL-like molecules that naturally regulate alpha-beta T cells.
This post will provide invaluable experience and an opportunity to work in an internationally respected laboratory as well as gaining experience of working with private sector biotech company.
The post holder will be based in the laboratory of Professor Adrian Hayday which has three main locations: the Programme in Infection and Immunity, Floor 2, Borough Wing; CIBCI, New Hunt's House; and the Francis Crick Institute.
Contract: Fixed-term until 30 June 2022 Hours: Full-time- 35 hours per week
Processing of human blood/tissue samples and isolation of PBMCs/tissue resident T-cells for downstream experiements
Implementing methodologies and running assays used for the characterization of T cell activation using TCR V-beta specific antibodies
Functional in vitro T-cell assays/Tissue culture
Operating flow cytometers and assisting with the maintenance of the instruments.
Running biochemical assays, such as western blot, to investigate signalling pathways downstream of antigen independant TCR activation.
Preparation of RNA and DNA from cell samples for use in various sequencing assays
Organisation and record keeping of reagent libraries
Undertake any other reasonable duties that may be relevant to the role
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
BSc/MSc in a relevant discipline (e.g.Immunology; Life-sciences; biotechnology)
Over 3 years experience working in the field of immunology
Experience in running flow cytometry and/or biochemical assays is desirable
Experience in running Tissue culture and Fucntional T-cell experiments
Practical experience in running SOPs and working in a laboratory environment
Experience working with in vivo cancer models
A keen interest in immunology and translational medicine is essential
You will need to be self motivation and the have the ability to work independently with the support of the greater research team
The ability to interperate scientific data and take thorough lab notes is a must.
Good communication skills and the ability to present data confidently and clearly is required.
This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.
This advertisement does not meet the requirements for a Certificate of Sponsorship under Home Office regulations and therefore the university will not be able to offer sponsorship for this role.