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Are you an early career researcher looking for your first challenge? Do you have a background in human molecular genetics and cell biology? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research-intensive Universities?

The role

The person appointed will use bioinformatics and molecular genetics approaches, including next generation and long-read sequencing and CRISPR-cas9 gene editing in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) culture, to study the inherited basis of defects in human enamel formation. The appointee will be supervised by a newly appointed Lecturer in Biomineralisation within an established, successful amelogenesis research group working across the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, University of Leeds.

As well as building on existing genomics expertise in the tooth disorder amelogenesis imperfecta, this new programme will add cellular disease modelling and transcriptomics dimensions to the research. Findings will be shared with patients via close links to dental practitioners and to the Northeast and Yorkshire Genomics Laboratory Hub, supporting additional increased clinical research in this area. This post will therefore support highly translational medical research at the international forefront of dental disease genomics research.

Main duties and responsibilities

As Research Assistant your main duties will include:

  • Preparing DNA and RNA samples for analysis by whole gene, whole exome or whole genome sequencing or smMIPs analysis using short and long-read next generation sequencers;
  • Analysis of RNA and DNA sequence data under the supervision of the lecturer, as well as Drs Alan Mighell, Chris Watson and Prof Chris Inglehearn;
  • Growing and maintaining iPSCs, conventional cell-lines and differentiated ameloblasts in tissue culture, under the supervision of the lecturer and with additional support from members of Prof Colin Johnson’s DiMo group. 
  • Use of CRISPR-cas9 gene editing to create iPSC lines with gene variants that cause inherited enamel defects in humans;
  • Writing reports, undertaking literature reviews and preparing papers for publication, with guidance as necessary;
  • Working both independently and as part of a larger team of researchers and stakeholders;
  • Supporting research activities, including contributing to research results and outputs and to the generation of independent and original ideas, ensuring a successful programme of investigation;
  • Participating in the research group and presenting research output where appropriate;
  • Contributing to the research culture of the School, where appropriate;
  • Continually updating your knowledge, understanding and skills in the research field.

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list.  Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

Qualifications and skills


  • A first degree, Masters or PhD in human genetics, medical molecular biology or a closely allied discipline;
  • A strong background in molecular biology laboratory techniques and good laboratory practise;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders;
  • Well-developed analytical skills;
  • Good time management and planning skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines;
  • A proven ability to work well both individually and in a team;
  • The ability to work unsupervised and to use your own initiative.


  • Experience of tissue culture techniques;
  • Experience of handling next generation sequencing data;
  • Experience in CRISPR-cas gene editing;
  • Experience in the use of command line tools and basic coding;
  • Experience in enamel research and/or hereditary tooth disorders.

What we offer in return

  • 26 days holiday plus approx. 16 Bank Holidays/days that the University is closed by custom (including Christmas) – That’s 42 days a year!
  • Generous pension scheme options plus life assurance
  • Health and Wellbeing: Discounted staff membership options at The Edge, our state-of-the-art Campus gym, with a pool, sauna, climbing wall, cycle circuit, and sports halls.
  • Personal Development: Access to courses run by our Organisational Development & Professional Learning team, and self-development courses including languages, Creative Writing, Wellbeing Therapies and much more.
  • Access to on-site childcare, shopping discounts and travel schemes are also available.

And much more!