Research Technician - Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

United Kingdom
£23,406.00 - £29,107.00
Sep 20, 2020
Oct 18, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £23,406 to £25,143, with potential progression once in post to £29,107

Band 500

Full Time / FTC until 3 January 2024

Closing date 18 October 2020

Job Summary

We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join a research team led by Dr Helen McGettrick and based in the Rheumatology Research Group, part of the Institute for Inflammation and Ageing (IIA), based within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. The group's interests include mechanisms of underlying leukocyte trafficking during the development and persistence of inflammatory arthritis (including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis) and the developments of novel therapeutics targeting these processes.

The position offers an exciting opportunity to join a new research team, based with the rheumatology research group. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to significantly contribute to the development of a team at the forefront of research into new therapeutics in RA. The post offers the right candidate the opportunity to develop new skills and training, while contributing to an exciting and important area of research. We are particularly interested in recruiting individuals with experience of in vivo work and who hold a personal home office licence or prepared to undergo the necessary training.

The inappropriate accumulation of leukocytes is a shared pathological feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis. However, attempts to target this therapeutically have been unsuccessful to date. We have identified a novel regulatory (adiponectin-PEPITEM-S1P) pathway that acts to endogenously limit leukocyte trafficking during inflammation. This pathway is lost in patients with RA but can be restored ex vivo using synthetic PEPITEM. Our latest data indicates that PEPITEM therapy can reduce the severity of experimental inflammatory arthritis, and thus may represent a novel target.

We have recently been awarded a Medical Research Council Project Grant to investigate the functionality of the adiponectin-PEPITEM pathway in the development and persistence of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. The post holder will be expected to provide a high level of technical support on this project supporting other members of the research group. Laboratory work will be based within the rheumatology research laboratory located within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The post-holder will work alongside postdoctoral scientists and clinical research fellows.

Main Duties and Responsibilities


The post holder will work directly with Helen McGettrick and will be embedded within her research group in the Rheumatology Research Group within the institute of Inflammation and Ageing. Extensive training in experimental techniques and procedures will be provided. The successful candidate will predominantly support two areas of research: processing clinical samples for analysis and secondly experimental in vivo models of inflammatory arthritis.

  • Isolate and culture synovial cell populations from human tissue and leukocytes from blood
  • Support experimental studies in in vitro migration assays.
  • Support experimental studies in in vivo models of inflammatory arthritis and support the post-doctoral scientists in activities within the Biomedical Sciences unit (BMSU).
  • Assist in the establishment and maintenance of in vivo colonies within the Biomedical Services Unit (BMSU) (via ARMIS software).
  • Perform basic histological, immunohistochemical processing of tissues and where appropriate perform imaging and flow cytometry.
  • Perform basic laboratory procedures in support of our research including RNA, DNA isolation and basic cell culture.
  • Provide support in the collection and processing of in vivo tissues and blood.
  • Analyse the cellular immune response using immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy.
  • Prepare stained cell suspensions for flow cytometry and flow sorting
  • Perform ELISA and Luminex assays according to standardised protocols
  • Analyse gene and protein expression using real time PCR
  • Accurately record and analyse experimental data.

In addition, the post holder will contribute to the running of the laboratory on a day-to-day basis (including housekeeping, ordering, tracking and purchasing of reagents, stocking consumables and general laboratory maintenance such as storage of cells and maintaining databases)

The successful candidate will already proficient in all or most of these techniques and practices, or will be able to use and apply these techniques independently after being trained by experienced members of the lab.

  • Enabling staff and students, working within the area of responsibility, to comply with all basic University / College Health & Safety policies This will include compliance by all staff with current rules governing work with COSHH, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), biological samples, human tissue, radioactive materials and schedule 5 toxins etc. Ensure all required assessments are in place approved and up to date.
  • Maintaining records both paper and computer based as appropriate.
  • Carrying out regular maintenance processes such as flushing eye wash stations as appropriate and ensuring records are maintained.
  • Reporting any breaches or non-compliance with H&S procedures to the PI, Technical Manager, Laboratory Manager or College Safety Adviser.
  • Upholding the correct waste disposal stream as governed by College and local policy for laboratory, recycled and general waste
  • Adopt a proactive attitude to assisting with and implementing carbon reduction and energy saving measures


The post holder will assist with the daily administration and organisation of the work area. These duties include:
  • Maintaining stocks of consumables, if necessary, creating purchase order requisitions for the College finance office or via web-based ordering system
  • Receipt and correct storage of consumables and chemical reagents.
  • Ensuring that the facilities are maintained in a clean, functional and safe condition, reporting any problems through the appropriate channels.
  • Ensuring the best use of equipment through booking systems, if appropriate
  • Reporting any problems with equipment or services to the line manager as appropriate.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the grade and skill base of the post holder as directed by either the Principle investigator for research-based activities or the Technical Managers for non-research-based activities

  • Receive and processing biological/clinical samples. Maintenance and management of local sample database/inventory.
  • In collaboration with the Laboratory Manager or supervisor the post holder will take an active role in the training and mentoring process for junior or newly appointed staff/students
  • To actively engage in the Personal Development Process
  • To contribute at a level appropriate with the grade, to internal and external audit procedures, and to regulatory inspections.
  • Assist Technical Managers and/or Laboratory Managers in identifying and tracking items held on the University asset register.

Person Specification
  • Extensive relevant experience, degree or equivalent professional qualification in an appropriate subject
  • GCSE (A*- C) or equivalent in mathematics
  • In-depth practical knowledge of technical and scientific methods stated above, and Good Laboratory Practice gained through extensive experience and formal qualification
  • Extensive experience of similar laboratory-based work
  • Positive service attitude and shows courtesy in dealing with others
  • Ability to organise and manage own workload and demonstrate flexibility in terms of work practices/requirements
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision but function as part of a team
  • Knowledge of current relevant H&S policies
  • Proficiency in commonly used software packages
  • Willingness to work towards professional registration

Further particulars can be found here:

Informal enquires can be made to Dr Helen McGettrick ( )

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