Research Associate - ocular gene therapy for glaucoma

United Kingdom
£33,797 - £38,017
Jan 09, 2021
Feb 08, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The role

We are seeking a post-doctoral researcher to drive forward a translational program of ocular gene therapy for glaucoma at the University of Bristol, working with Dr Colin Chu and Prof Andrew Dick, as part of an industrial collaboration.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and an estimated 11.2 million people will be bilaterally blind from the disease by 2020. Direct medical costs in the US alone are $3 billion per year. The prevalence is estimated at 2% of those over the age of 40 years are in the UK.

Ocular gene therapy using adeno-associated virus (AAV) is now well established and in clinical trial. Our recent work ( Wu et al. Gene Therapy for Glaucoma by Ciliary Body Aquaporin 1 Disruption Using CRISPR-Cas9. Mol Therapy. 2020, 28(3):820-829 .) established that that AAV can infect the ciliary body in mice following intravitreal injection to reduce the production of aqueous humour from the ciliary body. By reducing the production of aqueous, the IOP was lowered and in theory this approach could allow long-term reduction in IOP - a de facto 'cure' for glaucoma - following a single ocular injection.

As the role holder, you will take a lead role in the project to advance the work towards clinical trial, supported in post by an experienced research technician and will join the wider academic community of the Ophthalmology research group at the University of Bristol which has diverse interests including in ocular immunology and clinical links to the Bristol Eye Hospital.

What will you be doing?
  • Organise, co-ordinate and perform laboratory research experiments. With support from the wider team this will include molecular biology (cloning, next-generation sequencing), in vitro (cell line and human explant cultures) and in vivo work (mouse models of glaucoma).
  • Contribute to writing articles that will be published in high quality peer reviewed journals.
  • Train, support and assist in line management of the project research technician and liaison with related external collaborations.
  • Provide support to other studies and members of staff. This includes day-to-day issues and give help or guidance to any support staff and/or research students as required, contributing to upkeep of the laboratory group.
  • Contribute to the life of the Unit, School and University. For instance, by speaking at events and participating in groups as appropriate.
  • Be responsible for the day-to-day management of the project You will establish a robust system for project management that addresses all aspects of the research.
  • Provide regular progress reports and assist in the production of study report You will use your project management to keep the project to time and budget and your analytic skills in helping to prepare reports based on the study's findings.

You should apply if
  • You are excited about undertaking research that can ultimately help patients with sight loss.
  • You have a track record of excellence in research and strong project management skills
  • You have demonstrable experience in at least some of the following research areas: 1. AAV gene therapy including in vivo use and production. 2. Molecular biology experience including cloning and the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. 3. Glaucoma research including experimental animal or explant models.
  • You can build strong, effective relationships with a range of people from different sectors and levels of seniority.
  • You will have the ability to communicate complex information clearly, both orally and through the written word
  • You are someone who can get up to speed quickly, thrives on digesting lots of information, is mindful of competing priorities, and can drive activity forward in a sustainable manner.

For informal enquires please contact Dr Colin Chu,

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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