The Francis Crick Institute

Senior Laboratory Research Scientist

The Francis Crick Institute

London, United Kingdom

Job title: Senior Laboratory Research Scientist
Location: The Francis Crick Institute, Midland Road, London
Contract: Fixed-term
Full time
Salary: Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience
Vacancy ID: 12727

Short summary

The laboratory utilises biochemical, structural and cell biological approaches to study mechanisms of DNA double-strand break repair by homologous recombination. Established in 1985, the laboratory moved from its original location at CRUK’s Clare Hall Laboratories to the new Francis Crick Institute in London in 2016. Our work focuses on the analysis of molecular mechanisms of repair, and their connections to inheritable human diseases and cancer. The laboratory currently comprises six post-doctoral research associates, three PhD students and two laboratory research officers, and benefits from the extensive core facilities available at the institute.
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Project scope

Dr West’s laboratory focuses broadly on mechanisms of DNA recombination and repair, and how defects in these processes lead to cancer. Current projects include: (i) structural and biochemical analysis of the BRCA2-PALB2 complex and how it facilitates RAD51-mediated recombinational repair; (ii) Molecular characterisation of the roles of SMX (the SLX1-SLX4-MUS81-EME1-XPF-ERCC1 complex) and GEN1 in the resolution of DNA recombination and replication intermediates; (iii) Determination of the structure of RAD52 and SMX by cryo-EM; and (iv) Molecular analysis of Senataxin, defective in the inheritable neurodegenerative disorder Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia-2.

The new appointment will be a structural biologist who will further develop our expertise in cryo-electron microscopy. The research scientist will be expected to liaise with the Crick’s Structural Biology Science Technology Platform. Our aim is to understand how key recombination proteins such as BRCA2-PALB2, RAD52 and the RAD51 paralogs promote recombinational repair. BRCA2, PALB2 and the RAD51 paralogs are well established as tumour suppressors, and mutations in these genes have been linked to breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.A detailed understanding of how BRCA2-PALB2 and the RAD51 paralogs promote the biochemical reactions necessary for the efficient repair of DNA breaks will help us to understand the molecular basis of tumourigenesis.

The Crick has a state-of-the-art facility for cryo-electron microscopy and computation and the post will consolidate excellence in these areas and further develop the laboratory’s expertise. The STP currently houses two FEI Titan Krios 300kV microscopes each equipped with a Volta phase plate and Falcon III detector (one has an additional Gatan energy filter and K2 detector) and these are complemented by an FEI Talos Arctica 200kV microscope with Falcon II detector and a 120kV FEI Spirit TEM screening microscope.

About us
The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.
An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.
The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under in one building in Europe.
The Francis Crick Institute is world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; public engagement; and helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.

• If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via our website.
• The closing date for applications is 11 December at 23:45.
• All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.

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