Applications are invited for a research assistant position within the Liquid Biopsies and Cancer Diagnostics Group ( led by Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld at the CRUK Cambridge Institute. The Rosenfeld lab pioneers new approaches for non-invasive molecular diagnostics and analysis of cancer genomes and evolution, using next-generation sequencing of cell-free tumour DNA (ctDNA). We work with large collections of patient material from different clinical studies (encompassing a variety of cancer types), which we analyse by both genome-wide methods and targeted methods for sensitive mutation detection. We aim to build novel tools for cancer diagnostics by developing improved methods and demonstrating clinical utility.

We seek an individual to support the general running of the Rosenfeld laboratory. The position will include a mix of laboratory based and administrative work. Key duties include;

  • ensuring the integrity of the Rosenfeld lab’s sample banks (thousands of human samples including blood plasma, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, tissue, DNA, sequencing libraries, etc).
  • initially there will be considerable time spent to reorganisation of the group’s extensive sample storage facilities.
  • maintenance of records documenting permissions for working on samples. e.g. trial protocols and material transfer agreements (MTAs).
  • regular auditing of samples, records and database entries.
  • recording and ensuring that the group, and its individual members, follow procedures enabling compliance with relevant legislation regarding Human Tissue Act (2004).
  • supporting the lab’s research efforts by carrying out routine molecular biology techniques such as DNA extraction, digital PCR, Tapestation/Bioanalyser, library preparation and hybrid capture.
  • helping group members with regular and bespoke laboratory procedures and work-flows.
  • work with unscreened human samples (blood plasma, urine etc; as such the candidate will need to demonstrate immunity to Hepatitis B or undertake immunisation)

This is an exciting opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary, translational research group and contribute to our efforts to establish ctDNA as a biomarker for routine clinical use. Applicants should have a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in a relevant scientific discipline. Excellent IT skills (including an advanced working knowledge of Microsoft Excel) are required and ideally experience working with complex databases and laboratory information management systems (LIMS), or similar. Some working knowledge of the relevant legal and regulatory requirements governing the ethical conduct of research using human tissue samples (eg Human Tissue Act (2004), MHRA guidelines, GCLP) would be an advantage, as would experience of working with human tissue samples or other potentially infectious material, at containment level 2.

Experience of molecular biology techniques such as PCR and next-generation sequencing would be an advantage. You must have demonstrable ability to work to agreed protocols and standard operating procedures, have good organisational skills and be able to work independently, as well as within a team. Good communication skills will be key to coordinate projects with clinical collaborators, bioinformaticians and other researchers in the group.

Informal enquiries may be made to

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a security check.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements.

Click the ‘Apply’ button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Closing Date: 11th October 2021.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Please quote reference SW28148 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.