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Senior Scientist - Electron Microscopist


Slough, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Job Function:  Research & Early Development
Job ID:  64583

At UCB everything we do starts with a simple question: “How will this make a difference to the lives of people living with severe diseases?” We do that by connecting with patients and their families around the world living with the physical and social burdens of severe disease of the immune system and the central nervous system. Those connections offer new perspectives, drive innovation, and offer the hope of a new generation of therapies that will help to transform lives.


Role Overview

The Protein Structure and Biophysics department, within the R&D sector of UCB, comprises 4 sub-groups: Protein Production, Protein Structure, Protein Biophysics and Molecular Spectroscopy.


The Protein Structure Group provides support for projects from early stage mechanistic and structural understanding of new protein targets to contributions in confirming hit identification and cycles of design with CADD and Medicinal Chemistry groups.


The position offers an opportunity to take a lead role in developing the cryo-EM capabilities of the Structure Group.  You will be a high calibre, laboratory based candidate, with expertise in electron microscopy, who can quickly integrate into this highly motivated and focussed team. You will have a key role in operating an electron microscope, preparation and optimisation of sample grids, expertise in the use of current generation electron microscopes, high-resolution data collection and image processing, as well as knowledge of automated pre-processing pipelines and high-resolution model building.

The position will be based in Slough, UK with occasional travel to Cambridge.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Hands on responsibility for the daily operation of all aspects of cryo-EM within the Protein Structure team.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of software for data collection strategies (for example, EPU) and its application to automated image collection.
  • Be familiar with operational procedures and issues of a new generation electron microscope. Some trouble shooting to maintain a Glacios microscope at peak performance.
  • Flexibility to collect high resolution images at the Consortium Krios instruments, located in Cambridge.
  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge of software packages (for example, Relion and Eman) and their application to analyse cryo-EM image data to determine structure.
  • Troubleshoot and optimise samples; collaborating with protein biochemists in the Protein Structure and Protein Production groups.
  • Actively participate in project meetings applying structural knowledge of targets to help develop strategy and achieve project goals.
  • Share knowledge and experience across UCB’s structural community.
  • Lead the development of novel electron microscopy technology in the Protein Structure team.
  • Act as an ambassador for UCB by proactively communicating science externally via oral communications at scientific meetings and through publications in peer reviewed scientific journals.



Essential Requirements

  • A PhD (or equivalent) with several years’ experience of hands on electron microscopy cryo-EM sample preparation and data analysis, from a highly regarded laboratory in a Biochemistry/Structural Biology environment.
  • Proven track record of publications related to cryo-EM applications in peer reviewed, high quality science journals.
  • Highly motivated individual with excellent attention to detail and critical data analysis skills.
  • Exceptional organisational skills with proven ability to deliver to tight timelines.
  • Flexibility in learning new techniques including biophysical and computational analysis skills.
  • Excellent communication and team-working ability.


We can offer you a competitive salary and excellent benefits package.

Posting date: 20th August 2019

Cloasing date: 27th September 2019

Job Segment: Chemistry, Scientific, Biochemistry, Scientist, Laboratory, Science, Engineering

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