Research Fellow in Biomedical Sciences

United Kingdom
Jan 30, 2018
Feb 28, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Job Purpose

This is a 3 year project funded by the Arthritis Research UK to investigate the role of long non coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in obesity-associated joint inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis (OA).

OA is a painful joint condition and a leading cause of disability in the world. In the UK, over 30% of people over the age of 45 have sought treatment for OA. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for OA, and there are limited treatment options. Therefore, many patients will ultimately undergo joint replacement surgery, a procedure associated with a high percentage of patient dissatisfaction.

Recent research has shown that unresolved inflammation in the joint is a central to both the onset and progression of OA, and importantly our research has found that this joint inflammation is greater in individuals who are obese. Identifying the key factors that regulate this obesity-associated joint inflammation is critical to developing new treatments that prevent OA progression and reduce the risk of disease onset in obese populations. Such a treatment would improve the lives of patients and reduce the requirement for joint replacement surgery.

Importantly, our research has now identified a new class of RNAs (gene messages) called "long non coding RNAs" (lncRNAs) that are present in greater amounts in the joint tissue lining (synovium) of obese individuals with OA, and which control the inflammatory response in the cells of the joint lining. We believe that these lncRNAs are central regulators of joint inflammation in OA patients with obesity, and that their dysregulated activity results in damage to the joint.

Our research will investigate the expression and functional role of specific inflammation-associated lncRNAs in mediating joint inflammation in OA.

This project will involve collaborative work between the University of Birmingham (Dr Simon Jones, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing), the University of Bath (Prof Mark Lindsay), the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (Prof Edward Davis) and Prof David Young (Newcastle University). The appointed person will primarily be supervised by Dr Jones, and will work liaise with research staff at the hospital to collect clinical samples and will conduct the laboratory studies.

We are looking for a creative, independent and ambitious candidate with a PhD degree in cellular or molecular biology. Experience in tissue and cell culture (particular primary cells), bioinformatics, ELISA, RNA expression profiling (qRT-PCR, RNAseq) and RNAi knockdown studies is essential. Experience in running murine models of inflammation would be an advantage. The candidate should enjoy teamwork and should have excellent communication skills.


Person Specification

  • Relevant First degree and PhD in area of biomedical/biological sciences
  • Experience of collecting and processing human tissue samples/fluids with familiarisation of HTA guidelines
  • Knowledge and experience of determining activity of inflammatory signalling pathways within the inflammatory disease area.
  • Experience of cell culture including (i) tissue processing and isolation of human primary cells, (ii) the isolation and quantification of RNA (Qubit, Nanodrop, Agilent), (iii) analysis of nucleic acids via qRT-PCR and (iv) in vitro RNAi transfections using lipids or electroporation.
  • Expertise in phenotypic analysis of cells (ELISA, cellular proliferation, cellular migration assays)
  • Experience in murine models of inflammatory disease would be an advantage



informal queries to Simon Wyn-Jones


Application Deadline

28 Feb 2018


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