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Scientific Specialist in Cryo-Electron Microscopy

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Research Complex has recently purchased and commissioned a new state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscope (a 200kV Thermo Fisher Glacios) and we now have an exciting opportunity for a Scientific Specialist in Cryo-Electron Microscopy to underpin and develop us as a centre for high-quality cryoEM in the UK. This will be done in collaboration with the electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC) at Diamond Light Source, the UK National Centre for cryo-electron microscopy in life sciences. This is a science-driven post so we seek an individual to work with the life sciences research groups, delivering the highest quality cryoEM support.

Overall purpose:

To provide scientific and technical support for the Glacios cryo-electron microscope, which is physically located at eBIC, Diamond Light Source, as well as additional support for the transmission and scanning electron microscopes at Research Complex.

Main duties:

  • Provide operational support for the electron microscopes (principally the cryo-EM) including responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the systems.
  • Provide training and support on cryo-electron microscopy for short and long term Research Complex users.
  • Act as a single point of contact (Local Contact) for a proportion of user experiments providing specialist technical/scientific advice and assistance to Research Complex users with sample preparation procedures and protocol.
  • Provide maintenance and calibration of the cryo-EM equipment (Thermo Glacios), as well as the additional electron microscopy instrumentation at Research Complex (Jeol 2100).
  • Ensure (in cooperation with eBIC) that the cryo-EM facility meets current safety standards and requirements, including sample preparation and user samples.
  • Perform microscope analysis and image processing, such as for example serialEM software analysis.
  • Collaborate with eBIC on upgrades and development projects.
  • Procurement of instrument components, including writing system specifications, the management of contracts and liaison with suppliers.
  • Diagnose and repair faults on the TEM and other electron microscopy instruments and ancillary equipment. The post-holder will be capable of solving problems encountered with such equipment themselves or make use of external support, as appropriate.
  • Keep records of the usage of instruments and manage the booking system to maximise the efficient and effective use of the facility.
  • Liaise with EM users about their experimental samples and material including COSHH and risk assessments.
  • Manage the development, procurement, testing, installation, and maintenance of bespoke scientific equipment and software to perform novel experiments at Research Complex and the peripheral laboratories.
  • Advise on the development of data acquisition, visualization and analysis software and be involved in commissioning of new software.
  • Promote Research Complex externally; including for example public outreach activity and engaging with the scientific community.
  • Personally keep up to date with technical developments in electron microscopy, implement them at Research Complex where appropriate and advise users on such developments and new opportunities.

 Key responsibilities:

  • To ensure that users are well trained and have regular access to a well-maintained Research Complex EM instrumentation.
  • To ensure the safe and efficient use of Research Complex EM equipment.
  • To ensure the safety aspects of running EM instruments and of sample preparation equipment and procedures.
  • To liaise with users about EM instrument’s availability and bookings.
  • To complete and organise the services and maintenance of EM facility equipment.

These lists are not exhaustive, and you will be expected to help cover roles when colleagues are away.

Working relationships:

This post reports to the Operations Manager and the role involves interaction with the scientists, students and visitors within the based at Research Complex, as well as the core team. The post holder will also provide information on equipment usage, and equipment procurement details or forecasts.

About You  

You will have an appropriate first degree along with a relevant MSc or PhD, or significant demonstrable equivalent experience. You will demonstrate expertise and a track-record in cryoEM methods. A strong background in cryoEM software development and/or cryo-electron tomography is desirable. You will also have significant experience of structural and cellular biology techniques and working with biological samples, as well as experience with Windows/Linux/Unix. You will demonstrate good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, be well motivated, have strong problem-solving, team working and communication skills with the ability to relate to and communicate with non-expert users about EM issues.  


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