Manchester Metropolitan University

Research Associate - (6804)

2023-09-29 (Europe/London)
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Corneal opacity is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment affecting about 6 million of the world population. The most significant cause of corneal opacity is infectious keratitis, which is an eye infection that leads to an ulcer forming on the cornea. Around 1.5 to 2 million people per year globally develop unilateral blindness caused by infectious keratitis. This is likely to be an underestimate of the true scale of the problem due to underreporting in economically less developed countries. Infectious keratitis can be caused by various types of pathogens: including bacteria, fungus, parasites or virus. There is currently no point-of-care diagnostic test for infectious keratitis. Initial diagnosis is critical to ensure the best possible therapeutic outcome, however it is often uncertain and made on balance of clinical judgement. All infectious keratitis require therapy, although the currently available treatment is extremely limited. Furthermore, a growing and significant proportion of microbial infections are classified as being antimicrobial resistant. Thus, there is a desperate need of new point-of-care diagnostic test, and also treatment that is of new drug classes before the limited number of existing agents are rendered ineffective.

This is an exciting opportunity for a fully funded fixed term research associate to work full time to investigate the effectiveness of a new class of therapeutic intervention , together with its point-of-care companion diagnostic. This project will involve working with a collaborative team of researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Manchester and other international collaborators , in order to address such unmet medical burden.

The Role:

This project involves series of in vitro/ex vivo/in vivo testing against clinically relevant keratitis pathogenic agents (fungi, bacteria and acanthamoebae), in order to expand the current knowledge of a novel antimicrobial. It also involves mode-of-action studies and some pre-clinical analysis using ex vivo infection model and live cell imaging technologies. The research associate post described here is critical to the overall success of the project. To fulfill the proposed project, it requires staff with experience in handling pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria and filamentous fungi.

The candidate will be responsible for developing assays for the purpose of further evaluating antimicrobial candidates in ex vivo settings. The candidate will need to be familiar with cultivation and manipulation of the microorganisms as well as being able to perform MIC testing, toxicity testing, confocal microscopy and imaging analysis. The candidate will also be expected to be familiar with DNA/RNA extractions and gene replacement amongst other molecular biology techniques.

Other duties and responsibilities includes:

  • Maintain accurate records of research conducted and carry out analysis of the results obtained using the most appropriate method.
  • Work independently and in conjunction with other investigators and collaborators.
  • Prepare research findings for publication and presentation.
  • Write and co-ordinate applications for research grant funding
  • Assist in the supervision of postgraduate students, PhD students and Technicians in the laboratory.
  • Participate in the activities of the research group via meetings and seminars
  • Be familiar with national, University and Hospital Trust regulations with regards to research governance

You will work within the Department of Life Sciences, which provides state of the art research facilities located newly refurbished laboratories. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is an exciting and dynamic environment in which to conduct cutting edge research.

Qualification we require:

Hold or expect to obtain shortly a PhD in relevant sciences subjects

Application Requirements: 

Experience of the following would be advantageous:

  • Experience of drug candidates validation process
  • Experience in chemical analysis, e.g. LC-MS
  • Experiences in mammalian cell culturing and handling
  • Experiences in synthetic chemistry especially peptide chemistry
  • Experience and proficiency in statistical analyses
  • Publication in peer-reviewed journals relevant to the field

To Apply:

Please submit your CV and Cover Letter 

For an informal discussion, please contact; Dr Can Zhao (

Manchester Metropolitan University is committed to supporting the rights, responsibilities, dignity, health and wellbeing of staff and students through our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

We promote applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of background, belief or identity, recognising the benefits that a diverse organisation can bring . We particularly encourage applications from Black and Minority Ethnic candidates, who we recognise are underrepresented in this area


Further Links


Location: Manchester All Saints Campus

Faculty / Function: Science and Engineering

Salary: Grade 7 (£33,966 to £38,205)

Closing Date: 29 September 2023

Contract Type: fixed term

Contracted Hours per week: 35

Job details

Research Associate - (6804)
All Saints Building Manchester, United Kingdom
Application deadline
2023-09-29 23:59 (Europe/London)
2023-09-30 00:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

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