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Research AssistantAssociate Newcastle GB Job at Newcastle University


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: Research Assistant: £28,331 - £30.046 per annum

            Research Associate: £30,942 - £36,914 per annum


Closing Date:   23 November 2020

The Role

This is an exciting opportunity to work on a British Heart Foundation programme grant to study the development and disease of the heart valves. You will work on a project to understand how the heart valves develop in the zebrafish and how abnormalities in shared mammalian processes lead to human congenital valve defects. You will take data from genetic screens to investigate how patient variants can result in common malformations such as bicuspid aortic valve and develop assays for screening new variants for pathogenicity. The role will allow you to apply and develop your interest in developmental biology, cell biology, and disease modelling (CRISPR in zebrafish) to the field of congenital heart defects. You will enhance your expertise in imaging, image analysis and molecular genetics.


This post is full time, fixed term available for 36 months in the first instance (grant ends April 2024). Contact or for informal enquiries.

Key Accountabilities

To join a team studying the developmental genetic basis of human valve disorders. You will use a wide variety of molecular, protein and imaging techniques to achieve this, using zebrafish as a model system. You will be responsible for planning and carrying out the zebrafish experiments that form an integral part of the investigations carried out by the research team.


Contribute to and actively participate with other researchers within the groups collaborative research projects as outlined above. The main research duties as currently envisaged are:

  • Generation of CRISPR mutants in zebrafish

  • Designing and carrying out genotyping assays for zebrafish mutants and transgenics

  • Analysis of zebrafish embryos and adult hearts by standard molecular biology techniques including wholemount and slide in-situ hybridisation, RNA extraction,        PCR and western blotting to confirm and extend findings

  • Performance of standard histological techniques used for analysis of zebrafish embryos and adult hearts, including resin embedding and sectioning, and wholemount and slide immunofluorescent labelling

  • Confocal and epifluorescence microscopy followed by computer-based analysis of image data (ImageJ)

  • Effectively solve technical problems within laboratory protocols, in a timely way, ensuring continued acquisition of data with minimal disruption to personal and other related projects

  • Collate and analyse data, perform statistics and create figures of publication quality in an effective and timely way


Work in a professional and effective manner with the principle investigators (Prof Deborah Henderson and Dr Bill Chaudhry) and the laboratory manager, as well as other team members.

  • To support research activities, facilities and equipment within the group to promote excellence in research and timely completion of studies. To organise personal workload, whilst working effectively within the team. To keep excellent laboratory records of all experimental procedures and outcomes, enabling their implementation by current and future team members


Under the guidance of the laboratory manager (who will manage the zebrafish colonies), effectively utilise zebrafish for research goals

  • Coordination of zebrafish resources for optimal use in developmental biology and disease studies

  • Perform PCR genotyping and sperm freezing of zebrafish mutants, including production of inter-crossed lines

  • Collate Home Office data and maintain effective communication with technical staff


Under the leadership of the laboratory manager, to ensure the smooth running of the laboratory. This may involve contributing to the planning of equipment and material needs, including maintaining laboratory stocks of chemicals, media and other consumables. Determine requirements and initiate orders, within specified laboratory ordering procedures, or help maintain reagent databases

Undertake and provide training in experimental methods or use of specialised equipment in an effective and timely manner to academic, technical and research staff. Consult with principle investigators regarding developing new or improved methods for experimental systems  and create effective protocols


Supervise undergraduate and post graduate students, as directed by principle investigators or laboratory manager, whilst maintaining progress on other activities


Perform risk assessments and maintain safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH, BIOCOSHH, and other regulations) in consultation with principle investigators or laboratory manager



The Person 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


•    Expertise in zebrafish embryology, anatomy and dissection

•    Experience of creating CRISPR mutants in zebrafish and designing appropriate genotyping assays

•    Expertise in standard zebrafish histopathology skills including embedding and sectioning in resin 

•    Expertise in in situ hybridisation and immuno-histochemistry in zebrafish embryos

•    Expertise in confocal and epifluorescence imaging of zebrafish embryos

•    Hold, or have held, a personal license to carry out research using zebrafish

•    Excellent knowledge of the zebrafish literature and ability to integrate knowledge of different areas of research to come up with testable hypotheses

•    Excellent Information technology and computing skills

•    Publication of work in peer-reviewed journals 

•    Presentation of work at scientific meetings 

•    Sperm freezing in zebrafish (Desirable)


Attributes and Behaviour


•    Team-working skills

•    Ability to plan and organise own work

•    Responsible attitude to work

•    Attention to detail

•    Capacity for original thought

•    Excellent oral communication and writing skills

•    Willingness to undertake work outside of normal working hours





•    Good BSc degree in a biological science 

•    Completion (Associate level) (or current submission for Assistant level) a PhD in the area of embryology or molecular biology or genetics


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.


Requisition ID: 5338

More information on this Job

ID: 26851352 - Save Job
Category: Jobs : HR Jobs
Employer Info:

Newcastle University


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