Research Technician - Institute of Inflammation and Ageing - 81554 - Band 500

Jul 04, 2019
Jul 15, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
Position Details

Department: Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Full Time starting salary is normally in the range £22,722 to £24,411. With potential progression once in post to £28,259 a year.

Band 500

Full Time, Fixed Term Contract for up to 24 months

Closing date: 14th July 2019


The Respiratory Research laboratory is part of the Institute for Inflammation and Ageing (IIA), based within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. The Respiratory Research group's interests include mechanisms of immune dysfunction in both acute and chronic respiratory disease, particularly neutrophil and macrophage biology.
Many patients with chronic lung diseases suffer repeated lung infections despite a high number of innate immune cells being present in their lungs, and our preliminary data suggests this is due to problems with immune cells recognising bacteria and being able to clear them by phagocytosis.

Funded by the Alpha 1 Foundation, this project aims to assess the mechanism underlying poor bacterial clearance in a lung disease called Alpha 1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency (AATD), a chronic lung disease. The study has received ethical and trust approval to recruit 100 patients and is due to start recruitment this summer.

The post holder will be expected to provide a high level of technical support on projects investigating mechanisms of immune dysfunction in patients with AATD as part of this study and in our on-going respiratory research. Laboratory work will be based within the respiratory research laboratory which is part of an £8M facility located within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The post-holder will work alongside a postdoctoral scientist, and research fellow, several clinical research fellows and Lecturers from both scientific and clinical backgrounds in the laboratory.

To this end the post holder will:
  • Deliver work on our AATD project; this will be the main focus of the role.
  • Assisting sample collection and processing
  • Assess neutrophil function using techniques including neutrophil chemotaxis, phagocytosis, reactive oxidant species production, neutrophil extracellular NET production
  • Use techniques such as ELISA to analysis serum cytokine concentrations and cellular protein levels by western blot
In addition, the post holder will contribute to the running of the laboratory on a day-to-day basis (including housekeeping, ordering, tracking and purchasing of reagents, stocking consumables and general laboratory maintenance such as storage of cells and maintaining databases)

Main Duties


The role will support Dr Sapey's research and be supervised by Dr Sapey. The post holder will be also be supported day to day by Dr Belchamber. The post holder will be expected to participate in weekly lab meetings to discuss results and plans for moving forward. Weekly educational meetings are also held within the Institute.
In addition, the post holder will be expected to contribute to academic outputs including helping to draft research publications and presentation of results at meetings.

The post holder will be expected to undertake the following laboratory work:

    Plan and (with support and training) deliver the AATD project. Support work several projects, assisting in sample collection, logging and storage where possible. Storage of serum samples for later batch analysis Isolation of Neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from blood samples Phrodo assays to assess neutrophil functioning Flow cytometry for markers of neutrophil function including phagocytosis analysis Analysis of cell free DNA in serum samples collected from patients Analysis of NET generation by isolated neutrophils using flow cytometry Analysis of ROS production by isolated neutrophils Measurement of serum cytokines by ELISA Analysis of relative transcript expression by QPCR Relative quantification of proteins by Western blot

This knowledge may be gained from extensive practical experience and formal qualifications.

It is expected that all appropriate/required knowledge/skill base will be delivered at the "higher level" and include:
  • Safe working practices
  • An awareness of, and compliance with, University & Trust Health & Safety policies and procedures
  • Working to deadlines and providing consistent results delivery
  • Resolving problems that may affect the achievement of objectives and deadlines
  • Communicating results to colleagues · Providing support and guidance to junior members of staff and/or students
  • Providing support and guidance to junior members of staff and/or students
  • Maintaining good record keeping


    Enabling staff and students, working within the area of responsibility, to comply with all basic University / College Health & Safety policies This will include compliance by all staff with current rules governing work with COSHH, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), biological samples, human tissue, radioactive materials and schedule 5 toxins etc. Ensure all required risk assessments are in place, approved and up to date. Maintaining records both paper and computer based as appropriate. Carrying out regular laboratory maintenance processes, such as flushing eye wash stations, as appropriate and ensuring records are maintained. Reporting any breaches or non-compliance with H&S procedures to the PI, Technical Manager, Laboratory Manager or College Safety Adviser. Upholding the correct waste disposal stream as governed by College and Trust policy for laboratory, recycled and general waste Adopt a proactive attitude to assisting with and implementing carbon reduction and energy saving measures

The post holder will assist with the daily administration and organisation of the work area. These duties include:
    Maintaining stocks of consumables, if necessary, creating purchase order requisitions for the College finance office or via web based ordering system Receipt and correct storage of consumables and chemical reagents. Ensuring that the facilities are maintained in a clean, functional and safe condition, reporting any problems through the appropriate channels. Ensuring the best use of equipment through booking systems, if appropriate Reporting any problems with equipment or services to the line manager as appropriate. Any other duties commensurate with the grade and skill base of the post holder as directed by either the Principle investigator for research based activities or the Technical Managers for non research based activities

    In collaboration with the Laboratory Manager or supervisor the post holder will take an active role in the training and mentoring process for junior or newly appointed staff/students To actively engage in the Personal Development Process To contribute at a level appropriate with the grade, to internal and external audit procedures, and to regulatory inspections. Assist Technical Managers and/or Laboratory Managers in identifying and tracking items held on the University asset register.

Person Specification
  • Extensive relevant experience, degree or equivalent professional qualification in an appropriate subject
  • GCSE (A*- C) or equivalent in mathematics
  • In-depth practical knowledge of technical and scientific methods stated above and Good Laboratory Practice gained through extensive experience
  • Positive service attitude and courtesy in dealing with others
  • Ability to organise and manage own work load and demonstrate flexibility in terms of work practices/requirements
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision but function as part of a team
  • Knowledge of current relevant H&S policies
  • Proficiency in commonly used software packages
  • Willingness to work towards professional registration

Informal enquires to Liz Sapey (email:

For Further Particulars please follow the link below: