Post Doctoral Opportunity – Exosomes – 3 positions – Discovery Sciences

 Reference Number:PostDoc 114

  • Date Added:12/02/2016

Exploring exosomes as delivery vehicles for targeted gene regulation using novel protein and cell engineering approaches

We’re currently looking for talented scientists to join our innovative academic-style Postdoc. From our centre in either Gothenburg Sweden or Alderley Park UK, you’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment, contributing to live projects right from the start. You’ll take part in a comprehensive training programme, including a focus on drug discovery and development, given access to our existing Postdoctoral research, and encouraged to pursue your own independent research in cutting edge laboratories. It’s a newly expanding programme spanning a range of therapeutic areas across a wide range of disciplines.

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. This is an exciting area that hasn’t been explored to its full potential, making this an opportunity to make a real difference to the future of medical science.

About AstraZenecaAstraZeneca 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. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we’re proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives – and are made to feel valued, energised and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

Therapy AreaOur Discovery Sciences team operates from truly state-of-the-art centres spanning the UK, US and Sweden. Here, you’ll work with some of the most knowledgeable technology experts in the industry, all collaborating on high-profile drug discovery projects. With a wide range of responsibilities, from sample management and screening to bio-reagent supply, the opportunities to develop your expertise here are limitless.

DescriptionThis is a unique opportunity to be part of a global, interdisciplinary team of highly skilled and motivated post doctoral scientists, dedicated to investigating the therapeutic potential of engineered exosomes as tissue-specific delivery vehicles for gene manipulation. Recent studies have demonstrated that exosomes can be used as a delivery system for therapeutic agents such as siRNA and small molecules directly to specific diseased tissues to elicit favourable biological responses in vitro and in vivo. These post doc positions seeks to build on these reports by using cutting-edge cell and protein engineering methodologies to develop novel platforms to enable: RNA-loading into exosomes; in-cell loading of RNA cargo into exosomes using designed RNA binding proteins (Gothenburg, Sweden).

2) Targeting of exosomes to diseased tissue; develop technologies for enhanced targeting of exosomes to disease tissue through the display of targeting ligands at the surface of exosomes by cell-line engineering and/or combined with bio-orthogonal chemistry for introduction of complex non-peptide ligands at the surface of the exosome (Gothenburg, Sweden).

3) Protein-loading and affinity purification of exosomes; controllable in vitro loading of protein and RNA molecules into exosomes, and 2) exosomal surface marker modification to facilitate selective purification of loaded exosomes (Alderley Park, UK).

In addition, the applicant will form part of a large team of cell and protein scientists within a vibrant and fast-paced industrial drug discovery setting, focused on delivering valuable new medicines to the patients that need them.

As a Postdoctoral Scientist in Exosomes it’s essential that you have:

  • A PhD in Biological Sciences, with a strong cell biology or biochemical focus
  • Experience of isolating, characterising and manipulating exosomes
  • Expertise with standard molecular biology techniques, gene manipulation, protein engineering and mammalian cell culture
  • Excellent influencing and problem solving skills, as well as the confidence to work with ambiguous results
  • A proven record of publication in reputable, peer-reviewed journals

The following skills and qualifications are desirable:

  • Postdoctoral experience
  • A basic understanding of chemistry and drug delivery
  • Practical experience of fluorescence/luminescence-based cell reporter assays
  • Experience of cell imaging, confocal microscopy, FACS and RT-PCR
  • A working knowledge of RNA therapeutics and gene editing technologies
  • Expertise with RNA engineering

As a Postdoctoral Scientist in Exosomes you will:

  • Isolate, purify and characterise engineered exosomes from a range of mammalian cell types, using
  • Western blotting, nanoparticle tracking analysis and electron microscopy
  • Test cell-selectivity and functional delivery of the RNA cargo by exosomes in a recipient cell panel in vitro, expanding to tissue distribution and efficacy in vivo
  • Present your results in peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences

The preferred candidate on ‘RNA-loading into exosomes’ will in addition focus on developing a novel platform for cellular loading of exosomes with nucleic acids by engineering cellular RNA binding proteins fused to protein markers that are typically enriched in exosomes.The preferred candidate on ‘Targeting of exosomes’ will in addition focus on investigating novel approaches for targeting of exosomes to disease tissue through the display of targeting ligands at the surface of exosomes by cell-line engineering and/or combined with bio-orthogonal chemistry for introduction of complex non-peptide ligands at the surface of the exosome.

The preferred candidate on ‘Protein-loading and affinity purification of exosomes’ will in addition focus on identifying and applying novel techniques for cellular loading of exosomes with proteins by engineering exosomal protein markers and testing functional delivery of the protein-loaded exosomes to a range of recipient cell types, and developing efficient purification methodologies for isolation of exosomes from supernatant of producer cells via modification of surface exosomal markers with non-native proteins, peptides and non-peptide ligands.

Additional information:To apply for this position, please click the apply link.

AstraZeneca welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

An Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.

This is a 2 year Fixed Term Contract opportunity with a competitive salary on offer.
Closing date: Midnight – 8th April 2016

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