Research Associate in Biology
King's College London
United Kingdom

# **Job description**

We are seeking a proactive and collaborative Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell biologist to join Dr Yan’s group in the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King’s College London. We are a dynamic radiochemistry and biology team with access to cutting-edge instruments for preclinical nuclear imaging. You will develop a new generation of CAR T-cell PET imaging reagent to provide early insight to the safety and efficacy of the infused cell products.


In collaboration with CAR T-cell scientists, Dr John Maher and James Arnold from KCL and radiochemist, Prof Erik Årstad from UCL, the successful candidate will evaluate novel PET tracers to the detection of CAR T-cell’s biodistribution and behaviour in preclinical mouse cancer models. The project involves the generation of cancer targeting CAR T-cells, *in vitro* biological evaluation of CAR T-cell specific radiotracers, establishing tumour xenograft models, and PET imaging of CAR T-cells in tumour xenograft models with newly developed PET tracers. The ultimate goal is to develop a generic long-term CAR T-cell PET imaging strategy to enable clinicians to determine the real-time *in vivo* biodistribution of the CAR T-cells allowing prediction of therapeutic efficacy and potential off-target toxicity of therapeutic cells at earlier stages of their development.


We expect the successful candidate to hold a PhD degree and research experience in CAR T-cell biology and have a strong track record of research achievements. Experience with small animal imaging is desirable. Experience in handling of radioactivity is preferred.


This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for up to three years (latest end date 30 November 2026).


This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent.# **Key responsibilities**

- Collecting blood from healthy human volunteers, T-cell isolation, CAR T-cell engineering.
- Determine the *in vitro* binding affinity and specificity of the new PET tracers towards CAR T-cells.
- Developing subcutaneous animal models of human cancer.
- PET/CT imaging of the persistence and proliferation of the CAR T-cells in the animal models.
- Ex Vivo histology studies of the CAR T-cells’ distribution in various tissues.
- Keep an accurate record of experimental data and write quarterly reports.
- Draft conference presentations and manuscripts for publications and assist in grant writing.
- Contribute to the training and laboratory supervision of junior staff.


# **Skills, knowledge, and experience**

**Essential criteria**

1. PhD awarded (or soon to be awarded\*) in CAR T-cell biology or similar.
2. Strong track record of publications in the field of CAR T-cell cancer research.
3. Experience in collecting blood from healthy human volunteers, T-cell isolation, CAR T-cell engineering.
4. Home Office personal license for animal experiments in cancer research.
5. Advanced skills to independently design and implement complex experiments and in analysis of complex research data.
6. Proven experience of manuscript preparation and presenting scientific research in the form of posters and oral presentations.
7. Excellent organisational skills, ability to act on personal initiative and take responsibility for own work, ensuring projects are completed, working to deadlines.
8. Excellent communication skills and work effectively in a multidisciplinary research environment.

**Desirable criteria**

1. Experience of safe handling of radioisotopes.
2. Experience in small animal PET/SPECT imaging.


*Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6. *


## Further information


The applicants should include the following documents when applying:

- A cover letter with a short statement setting out your reasons for applying for the post and highlighting the particular skill and experience which you feel you would bring to the role.
- A copy of a current curriculum vitae.


Whilst we can accommodate virtual interviews, our preference is for all interviews to be held in-person. Interviews will be accompanied by a tour of our research facilities and an opportunity to discuss career development.

King’s recently published the Climate & Sustainability Action Plan ([](, which outlines 13 key impact areas to guide the university’s approach and tangible steps to reach net-zero carbon by 2030. This plan was shaped by over 350 staff, students and alumni in the Climate Action Network (CAN) ( [](


At the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences we take our role in minimising the negative and maximising the positive impacts seriously and seek to embed sustainability at every level within the department.


One way to get involved and support to embed sustainability is through participation in the Sustainability Champions programme ( [](


To find out more about sustainability at King’s including sustainable and responsible policies please visit:




This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

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