Research Associate

Imperial College London

Job description
Job summary

The Department of Life Sciences (DoLS) at Imperial College London, headed by Professor Daniel Davis, embraces the full breadth of modern life sciences activity. It is one of the largest life sciences groups in Europe, with approximately 100 academic staff, 180+ research fellows and post-doctoral researchers, 50+ technical services staff, 40+ professional services staff, 200+ PhD students, 200+ Masters students and 800+ UG students. The Department’s research and teaching activities are funded by a wide variety of research councils, charities and industries bodies, with the value of current external research grants totalling more than £100 million.

DoLS is located on 2 campuses at South Kensington and Silwood Park. Research activity is organised into 12 themes ; in addition, staff are integrated into a number of multidisciplinary, cross-departmental research centres. We run 2 undergraduate degrees (Biology and Biochemistry/Biotechnology), and 16 Masters courses.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogen that causes life-threatening infections and is one of the most serious public health problems.

There is currently no vaccine against Klebsiella pneumoniae. The main vaccine antigen, the capsular polysaccharide, exists as more than 75 different serotypes, making a broadly protective conjugated vaccine very difficult and costly to produce. The aim of this project is to identify novel antigens as potential vaccine candidates against Klebsiella pneumonia. The Klebsiella genome will be screened to identify surface-exposed antigens, which will then be characterised for their functional and immunological properties. The most promising antigens playing a key role in virulence and immunogenicity, either alone or in combination with selected capsular polysaccharides or O-antigens, may guide the design of a multivalent Klebsiella pneumoniae vaccine.

Duties and responsibilities

  • To conduct bioinformatic analysis on the Klebsiella genome for the identification of surface exposed antigens playing a putative role in virulence and pathogenesis
  • To conduct proteomic analysis of the surface of Klebsiella strains
  • To clone, express and purify the antigens for functional and immunological characterisation.
  • To determine the role of the identified antigens in host-pathogen interaction
  • To take initiatives in the planning of research
  • To identify and develop suitable techniques and approaches for the collection and analysis of data
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
  • To write regular internal reports
  • To prepare material for presentation in oral and poster formats
  • To present findings to colleagues and at conferences
  • To draft publications, prepare and submit them to refereed journals           
  • To contribute to writing bids for research grants
  • To supervise practical work and advise students on techniques.
  • To take responsibility for organising resources and effective decision making in support of research
  • To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary
  • To develop contacts and research collaborations within the College and the wider community
  • To promote the reputation of the involved groups and labs, the Department and the College

Essential requirements

  • Hold, or be near completion of, a PhD (or equivalent) in Molecular Microbiology, Biochemistry or Immunology
  • A strong background in bacteriology, molecular biology and bioinformatic and genome analysis
  • Expertise in immunological assays
  • Knowledge of antibody and complement

Further information

This is a full time, fixed term position until 31 December 2025. The expected start date is 01 January 2024. You will be based at South Kensington Campus.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant.

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Professor Mariagrazia Pizza – [email protected]

We proudly hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and strive to provide a working environment where all our staff feel fully supported to flourish and excel. We are committed to promoting the wide range of Family Friendly policies and associated initiatives offered by the College. 

The DoLS Newsletters provide a useful insight into the activities and life in our department. Further information about Life Sciences Athena SWAN can be accessed via our website .

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

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.


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