Molecular and Cellular Biology Research Assistant: UK

The Mary Lyon Centre at the Medical Research Council Harwell requires a Research Assistant to provide technical support in a busy Genome Engineering service team. The successful candidate will work within the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) group and in close collaboration with the Genotyping and Mutation Screen (GEMS) core facility. His/her activity will span a broad range of molecular and cellular biology techniques.

The available post is based within established laboratories involved in the generation and quality control of mouse targeted alleles and genotyping. He/she will work as part of a team and be responsible for performing a range of Molecular Biology techniques (including generation of CRISPR reagents, PCR, Sanger sequencing analysis, digital droplet PCR, non-radioactive Southern blotting and qPCR-based genotyping) and embryonic stem (ES) cell culture. Emphasis on particular techniques will vary according to service demand.

Previous experience of some of these techniques will be an advantage, but not essential, as training will be provided.

Main duties / key responsibilities:

  • Characterisation and quality control of genetically modified materials employing PCR-based techniques and non-radioactive Southern blotting
  • Genotyping
  • Sample management and communication of results
  • Some cell culture

Other general duties required are to ensure smooth running of a Molecular Biology laboratory i.e. ordering reagents – tasks shared with rest of team.

 Working relationships:

  • Process samples/tasks by working as a team with the other Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) team members, as directed by the MCB Deputy Head initially or by the External Genotyping Coordinator as per workload demands.
  • Work with scientists in the different research groups, to help process samples as efficiently as possible.

 Person Specification

Education / Qualifications / Training required:


  • BSc in Biological Sciences or related area.
  • Understanding of basic techniques (qPCR, cloning).


  • An understanding of genetic modification in laboratory animals.
  • MSc in Biological Sciences with several years laboratory-based molecular biology training.
  • Understanding of genome engineering techniques (gene targeting, CRISPR-based tools).

Previous work experience required:


  • Previous work experience in a laboratory.


  • Previous work with genetically modified materials.
  • Previous experience in genotyping would be desirable, although some training in molecular techniques and automated liquid handling can be given.
  • Evidence of quality and customer focused work.

Knowledge and experience:


  • Experience in basic techniques of Molecular Biology e.g. PCR, cloning, Southern blotting.
  • Computer literacy is essential for the recording and communication of results.


  • Previous experience with DNA sequence analysis software.
  • Experience of work in sterile conditions.
  • Working and adhering to standard operating procedures and experience of process analysis and refinement.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


  • Organised, hard-working with a strong eye for detail and is able to work well as part of a team.


  • Able to communicate clearly and concisely with a variety of scientists at all levels (from Principal investigator to research assistants and animal technicians).

Additional information: Some flexible work patterns and paid weekend work may be required at the discretion of the supervisor.

Further details
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