We have an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate to join Professor Holmes’ group to undertake research addressing tryptophan metabolites as mediators of dementia risk, as well as chemical characterisation of molecules associated with dementia risk. The post is funded by the UK Dementia Research InstituteI at Imperial College. Professor Holmes’ group is interested particularly in the use of molecular phenotyping methods for studying the microbiome and its influence on cognition, brain health in aging and neurodegeneration.
The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) at Imperial has been established to address a medical research area of highest importance and future impact as one of six new national centres of excellence embedded in major UK universities that together are intended to transform the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementias. MRC and charity partners Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK have invested £250m in fulfilment of the ambition identified in the Prime Minister's 2020 Challenge on Dementia.
UK DRI at Imperial College London has innovation as its theme. This draws on the university’s unique strengths and focus on science, engineering, medicine and business. Research will initially focus on the earliest pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease, addressing what determines the transition to neurodegeneration, and investigate the mechanisms that are likely shared across many of the dementias.
With access to large, well characterized longitudinal cohorts the team will explore causes of individual variation in dementia within populations, looking at changes that occur across the lifespan and specifically addressing metabolic factors, the relationship with microorganisms in gut (the microbiome) and the role of sleep. The team will use a range of resources including Dementias Platform UK and the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre.
Duties and responsibilities
You will focus on molecular phenotyping and lipidomic methods (LC-MS) optimised for studying the metabolome at the population level. Investigations will seek to uncover external influences (including genetics, lifetime exposures and the microbiome) that impact both lipidomic and metabolomic phenotypic profiles alongside cognition and brain health in aging and neurodegeneration.
There will be opportunities for supervision of BSc students rotating on the Neuroscience module, MSc students and to support supervision of PhD candidates. Experiences in other teaching roles, including lecturing, will be enabled as part of the broad range of career development opportunities that Imperial College makes available to its research staff.
You will be expected to have experience in LC-MS based metabolomic/lipidomic workflows, sample preparation and data acquisition, as well as data interpretation and resultant downstream metabolite annotation/identification. You will also have a PhD in analytical chemistry, metabolomics, biomedical sciences or a suitably relevant discipline.
This role is full-time and fixed-term for 12 months in the first instance
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