Research Associate/Fellow in Microbiology and Materials: UK

University of Nottingham is looking for a Research Associate/Fellow in Microbiology and Materials. The research challenge for the holder of this post will be to exploit 3D technologies to discover and develop advanced biomaterials that prevent medical device-centred biofilm infections and promote appropriate immune/healing responses. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing 2.5D and 3D high throughput bacterial interaction assays using ChemoTopo chips that combine material chemistries with different topographical features. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and 3D holography will be used to investigate the behaviour of bacterial cells approaching and interacting with specific surface chemistries and topographical features. Luminescent and fluorescent reporter gene fusions will be constructed and employed to explore the expression of key surface adhesins, virulence factors and cell signalling pathways (e.g. quorum sensing) pathways in response to specific ChemoTopo landscapes in the absence and presence of immune cells such as macrophages. Once biomaterials with the desired bacterial-biofilm resistant and immune-responsive properties have been identified, 3D print-outs of the material will be constructed to evaluate their in vivo performance in murine infection models using state-of-the-art bioluminescent imaging.

The post-holder will work within a team of talented scientists from material sciences, regenerative medicine, drug delivery and microbiology to explore the relationships between the polymer surfaces and bacterial cellular responses at population, single cell and sub-cellular levels.

The role holder will have the opportunity to use their initiative and creativity to identify areas for research, develop new research methodology and extend their research portfolio.

Main Responsibilities

  • to: (a) develop 2.5D and 3D assays for bacterial biofilm and immune modulation in separate and combined assay formats; (b) construct multiple gfp- and lux-marked bacterial strains/species and optimization of attachment/biofilm assays in 2.5 D ChemoTopo chip formats; (c) perform large scale screening and identification of bacterial attachment resistant or selective bacterial attachment material hits for single and multiple species and (d) undertake combined screens of hits emerging for materials with optimal bacterial biofilm resistance and immune modulatory properties
  • to plan and conduct research using recognised approaches, methodologies and techniques within the research area and support the development of research objectives and proposals for own and/or collaborative research area
  • to analyse and illuminate data, interpret reports, evaluate and criticise texts and bring new insights to research area
  • to contribute to writing up research findings for publication in leading journals
  • to assist with the preparations, proposals and applications to both external and/or internal bodies for funding, contractual or accreditation purposes
  • to build internal and/or external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding, forming relationships for future collaborations
  • to co-ordinate the operational aspect of research networks, for example, arranging meetings and updating websites etc. and contribute to collaborative decision making with colleagues in area of research
  • to provide guidance as required to support staff and students, where appropriate in own area of expertise
  • to collaborate with academic colleagues on areas of shared interest for example, course development, collaborative or joint research projects
  • to plan and manage own research activity and resolve problems, if required, in meeting own/team research objectives and deadlines in collaboration with others
  • to utilise and contribute to organising research resources and facilities, laboratories and workshops as appropriate
  • to make a contribution to teaching, for example through laboratory demonstrations, lectures to postgraduate workshops and/or delivery of Level 1 modules

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications & Experience



  • 1st or upper-second class honours degree in microbiology/biological sciences
  • PhD (or near completion) or equivalent in molecular microbiology/infection/biofilms


  • PhD (or near completion) or equivalent incorporating genetics and molecular biology of bacterial pathogens



  • excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate with clarity on complex information
  • evidence of sufficient breadth or depth of research methodologies and techniques to work in the research area
  • developing research skills, with the ability to creatively apply relevant research approaches, models, techniques and methods
  • ability to contribute to method improvement
  • analytical ability to facilitate conceptual thinking, innovation and creativity
  • ability to build relationships and collaborate with others, internally and externally


  • ability to assess and organise resource requirements and deploy effectively
  • ability to foster a research culture and commitment to learn in others
  • high analytical ability to analyse and illuminate data, interprets reports, evaluate and criticise texts and bring new insights



  • significant expertise in the application of genetic and genomic approaches to bacterial signalling and environmental adaptation including experience of genetic manipulation of pathogenic bacteria
  • application and use of genomics, proteomics and metabolomics technologies


  • experience with protein expression, protein purification, DNA-protein interactions
  • competence in studying bacterial attachment, biofilm formation, virulence factor production and interactions with immune cell
  • skills in the application of advanced microscopic techniques including confocal and super-resolution microscopy
  • competence in working with murine infection models
Further details
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