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Location:
London, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-046303
Posted date: May. 31, 2019
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AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. We're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. We believe in the potential of our people and you’ll develop beyond what you thought possible.

The new R&D BioPharmaceuticals organisation brings together research and development teams, from discovery through to late-stage development for Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolic (CVRM), Respiratory, Inflammatory and Autoimmune (RIA) therapy areas, and opportunistically for Microbial Sciences and Neuroscience.

You’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment but also exposed to strong rigorous academic science. For example, every postdoc has an external academic mentor to ensure we are working and publishing at the highest level in a field. What’s more, you’ll have the support of a leading academic advisor, who’ll provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to develop your career.

Our Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity team offers definitive expertise to colleagues as well as across continents to scientists and patients. You’ll help respiratory patients in areas with medical needs that aren’t being fully met, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and rheumatic disorders. We’re tackling these diseases from three areas: lung immunity, lung epithelium, and lung remodelling/regeneration. Right now, we are a leading figure in inhaled drug development and our new Inhalation Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden coupled with our work in new modalities is set to extend that leads even further.

Cellular senescence is a key feature of COPD and affects airway and alveolar epithelial cells, endothelial cells and fibroblasts. Airway senescence in COPD may be induced by excessive oxidative stress from cigarette or biomass smoke and is maintained by chronic inflammation. Increases in senescence markers are seen in both COPD peripheral lung tissue and a variety of pulmonary cells and is associated with reduced expression of the anti-aging molecules. Senescent cells release multiple inflammatory proteins which may account for the chronic low grade inflammation in COPD patients. We have evidence that small airway fibroblasts from COPD patients are also senescent, proinflammatory and profibrotic, but little is known of their phenotype(s) or how this may contribute to the small airway fibrosis that drives COPD. This postdoc position will profile fibroblast populations in COPD to determine if there are aberrant cells that can be targeted to attenuate the pathophysiology observed in disease.

This position will be based primarily in the laboratory of Prof Peter Barnes and Prof Louise Donnelly at Imperial College London, with time being spent in the AZ RIA research labs in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Education and Experience Required

Essential:

  • PhD in molecular and cell biology or similar area
  • Primary cell work
  • Spatial transcriptomics experience
  • Ability to independently drive a research project through design, execution, and interpretation of critical experiments.
  • A strong scientific track-record, as evidenced by publication in high quality peer-reviewed journals, oral and/or poster presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Enthusiastic and motivated personality
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Extensive in vitro technical competence, including primary cell culture

Desirable:

  • Experience in respiratory diseases including COPD
  • Competence in next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, including hands-on and data analysis expertise

Skills and Capabilities required:

  • Isolation, culture, and manipulation of primary cells
  • Overexpression and knockdown techniques
  • Ability to work independently; but also to integrate within a multidisciplinary team as needed
  • A range of in vitro skills, including: immunoblotting, exosome isolation and analysis, RNA expression analysis, live-cell imaging, flow cytometry, RNA-sequencing

This is a 3 year programme.  2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1 year extension which will be merit based.  The role will be based in Imperial College London, with a competitive salary on offer. To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

Advert opening date – 31st May 2019 / Advert closing date – 9th August 2019

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Postdoc Fellow - Fibroblast phenotype in COPD
Scientific

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