Research Associate in Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection

Job Description

Job summary

The Department of Life Sciences was the top ranked university department in the UK for research intensity in Biological Sciences in REF2014 (Times Higher Education), scoring 100% on our environment.

Applications are invited for a Research Associate in Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection to join the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London. You will be joining Professor Frankel’s Group based in the MRC Centre for Bacteriology Microbiology and Infection (CBMI), located in the Flowers Building, South Kensington Campus. The CMBI is a centre of excellence housing several groups studying bacterial pathogenesis, secretion systems, virulence and colonisation factors, gene expression, bacterial cell walls, toxins and biofilms.

Bacterial infections and antibacterial resistance pose a significant risk to human health. While antibiotics have saved millions of lives, they, alongside infection, cause severe disruption of the gut microbiota. Accordingly, there is a need to complement the traditional drug discovery routes with the development of innovative approaches to treat bacterial infections, which minimise both selective pressure promoting the emergence of resistance and the impact on the endogenous microbiota. The development of effective and novel control measures requires a systematic understanding of the biology of the disease, particularly the complex interactions between bacterial pathogens and their hosts in the context of the microbiota. The focus of this project is attaching and effacing E. coli (e.g. EPEC and EHEC). The successful candidate is expected to determine the molecular/cellular basis of colonisation, which would direct us towards development of alternative therapies and control measures (PMID: 29084270).

Candidates interested in bacterial infection and mechanisms of colonisation of mucosal surfaces are encouraged to apply.
Duties and responsibilities

The successful candidate is expected to perform molecular and cell biology experiments to a high standard. In particular, the candidate is expected to:

• Perform standard scientific techniques including cell culture, infection, bacteriology and molecular and cell biology techniques.
• Analysis and present data for interpretation by others.
• To ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times
• To present findings to colleagues and at conferences.
• To write up the finding for submission to refereed journals
• To take responsibility for organising resources and effective decision making in support of research
• To perform research work that fulfils the requirements of the grant objective
Essential requirements

Essential requirements:

A PhD degree (or equivalent) in Molecular Cell Biology and Infection.

Experience in the following:

Cell biology of infection and molecular biology.
Gram-negative intestinal pathogens and type III secretion system effectors, particularly in the context of enteropathogenic coli
Generating multiple gene/island deletion mutants and chromosomal complementation
Cell culture, transfection and microscopy (electron and fluorescent)

Knowledge in the following:

Statistical and image analyses
Pathogen host interactions.

Desirable requirements:

Experience of human intestinal in vitro organ cultures

You must have experience of working in a team, the ability to develop and apply new concepts and have a creative approach to problem-solving. You must also have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to organise your own work with minimal supervision and prioritise in response to deadlines.
Further information

This is a full time, fixed-term position for six months.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD, will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £32,380 – £34,040 per annum.

Informal enquiries can be made directly to Professor Gad Frankel, Tel +44 20 7594 5253; email:

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact Peggy Baker by email at and refer to the job reference number.

For technical queries when applying online, please contact

Imperial Expectations guide the behaviour of all our staff.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.
Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations:

Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
Deliver positive outcomes
Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
Develop and grow skills and expertise
Work in a planned and managed way