Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Medicine

Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences

Section of Translational Anaesthetic & Surgical Sciences

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Grade 7

Full Time (100% FTE)

This is an exciting opportunity for you to work in a growing area of laboratory and translational research, exploring the use of biosensors for screening and disease monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease, which is common in younger people and the cause of significant morbidity. The project builds on previous work, which successfully developed prototype biosensors to biomarkers of colorectal diseases and in intra-abdominal sepsis and has now selected evolved affinity proteins recognising calprotectin, a recognised marker of inflammatory bowel disease activity.The purpose of the current position is to progress biosensor development to the point of commercialisation and clinical application.

You will join an active and productive research group comprising a number of clinician researchers, academic trainees, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers; focused on developing new treatments and technologies for clinical application. The research will involve close collaboration between the Faculty of Biological Sciences (biosensor expertise) and Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (clinical translation).

You will have, (or expect to receive shortly), a PhD in molecular and cell biology, some relevant laboratory experience, and effective interpersonal and communication skills. Previous experience of biosensor technology would be highly desirable.

Further details of the Institute’s research are available on the website:

This post is a fixed term contract, available from 7th May 2015 to 31st March 2017

The University of Leeds is committed to providing equal opportunities for all and offers a range of family friendly policies (). The University is a charter member of Athena SWAN and holds the Bronze award. The School of Medicine gained the Bronze award in 2013. We are committed to being an inclusive medical school that values all staff, and we are happy to consider job share applications and requests for flexible working arrangements from our employees.

University Grade 7 (£31,342 – 37,394) depending on qualifications and relevant experience.

Informal enquiries to Prof David Jayne, tel +44 (0)113 206 5281, email Prof Paul Millner, tel +44 (0) 113 3433149, email

If you have any specific enquiries about your online application please contact Colette Cornelly, email tel +44(0)113 2069229 or Sharon Collins, email or tel +44 (0) 113 2066949.

Job Ref: MHBCS1006Closing Date: 1 June 2015

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Post

The appointed person will work on a growing area of laboratory and translational research, exploring the use of biosensors for clinical detection of inflammatory bowel disease, but with possible added application in the detection of colorectal cancer and intra-abdominal sepsis. The project builds on a previous PhD studentship, which successfully developed prototype biosensors to biomarkers known to be up-regulated in intra-abdominal sepsis (lactate, TNF-alpha, and E. coli antigen) and continues work on biomarkers for inflammatory bowel disease (calprotectin) and colorectal cancer (carcinoembryonic antigen, or CEA) . The purpose of the current position is to progress biosensor development to the point of commercialisation and clinical application. The research will involve close collaboration between the Faculty of Biological Sciences (biosensor expertise) and Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (clinical translation).

The purpose of this post is to take a lead role in a growing research theme to develop prototype biosensors for abdominal sepsis and anastomotic leak for clinical translation. The post is funded by an NIHR grant to develop new surgical technologies for clinical translation. The post will also involve a supervisory role for clinicians in training undertaking laboratory research into the same research area.

Duties & Responsibilities

  1. Devise and carry out a successful programme of investigation as outlined above, managing individual components of the study from the start of the project to dissemination of findings within set timeframes.
  1. Make decisions as to the direction of research that is to be followed, within the context of the research area.
  1. Coordinate interactions between scientists and clinicians so as to ensure identification of and access to appropriate clinical samples, and to foster engagement with the work by all parties.
  1. Analyse and interpret the results of own research and help to generate original ideas based on outcomes.
  1. Evaluate methods and techniques used and results obtained by other researchers and relate such evaluations appropriately to own work.
  1. Contribute to supervision and instruction of other members of staff, in particular clinical research students (MD and PhD).
  1. Present research results within the research group and the institute and through publication or other recognised forms of output, e.g. peer-reviewed journals, reports and conference presentation at local and national level.
  1. Contribute to the work of the research team as a whole through dialogue with colleagues, generation of ideas, assisting in preparation of grant applications, advising on study design, problem solving and pastoral support of colleagues where appropriate.
  1. Keep abreast of relevant literature and maintain a good knowledge of the background and current developments in the field of the project.
  1. Attend and contribute to departmental and Institute research seminars and meetings, and undertake training courses where required.
  1. Be aware of risks in the work environment and contribute to COSHH assessments when appropriate.
  1. Treat data, particularly when it may identify patients or staff, with respect and in accord with current good practice policies.

The post holder will be expected to actively support and adhere to the Faculty’s commitment to Equality and Diversity in line with the requirements of the Faculty Diversity Action Plan.

Job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and you may be required to undertake other duties which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.


You will be responsible on a day-to-day basis to the Principal Investigators (Prof David Jayne (LICABS) and Prof Paul Millner (FBS)),and through them to the Director of the Leeds Institute of Biomedical & Clinical Sciences and ultimately to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

You will be required to work as a member of a team and to interact with a variety of staff including scientists, research fellows, postgraduate students and research support staff.

University Values

All staff are expected to operate in line with the University’s values and standards, which work as an integral part of our strategy and set out the principles of how we work together. More information about the university’s strategy and values is available at

Person Specification
  • A PhD in a molecular, cell or cancer biology discipline (or soon to be submitted)
  • Demonstrable experience in molecular and cell biology techniques
  • A proven ability to work and think independently and to contribute to the planning of a programme of scientific research
  • A demonstrative ability to analyse and interpret research results
  • A developing publication record in high impact peer reviewed journals
  • Effective organisational skills and a demonstrable ability to prioritise work to meet deadlines
  • A proven ability for effective cross-disciplinary working including experience collaborating with others
  • A willingness to work flexibly, when necessary, to fulfil the needs of the research project.
  • Proven effective verbal communication skills (including undertaking presentations and scientific reports).
  • A working knowledge of Health and Safety requirements within the laboratory setting.
  • Evidence of an ability and willingness to keep up with, and have a working knowledge of the scientific literature in the field of the project.
  • Previous experienceof supervising junior staff
  • Evidence of an ability to write to a standard required for research reports/publications.


  • Experience inprotein chemistry and molecular biology of small affinity proteins
  • Experience of electrochemical biosensor technology
  • Experience in handling molecular biological and biophysical datasets.
  • IT and bioinformatics skills.

Further Information

Faculty Information

With more than 6,000 students, 1,600 staff and annual research income of £50m, the Faculty of Medicine and Health at Leeds is bigger than some universities. Leeds has one of the largest medical and bioscience research bases in the UK, and is an acknowledged world leader in cancer, cardiovascular, psychiatric, genetic, musculo-skeletal and health services research. Treatments developed in Leeds are transforming the lives of people around the world living with conditions such as HIV, TB, diabetes and malaria.

The School of Medicine

The School of Medicine at the University of Leeds is a major international centre for research and education. Our ambition is to improve health and reduce health inequalities, locally and globally, through excellent scientific research and the translation of that research into healthcare practice, and through the education of future scientific and clinical leaders who will advocate and practise an evidence-based approach. Our major strategic aims are to:

  • Deliver outstanding research including basic discovery science through to applied health research that makes a significant difference to health.
  • Produce exceptional graduates, clinicians, educators, doctoral and post-doctoral fellows whose learning has been informed and inspired by our research excellence and who will form the next generation of academic and clinical leaders.
  • Develop and support knowledge transfer activities that flow from our academic activities.
  • Create and maintain an efficient and sustainable environment for research and teaching within an organisational culture and management style that enacts and supports the university’s core values of community, inclusiveness, integrity and professionalism.

The School of Medicine is organised into seven Institutes. All are committed to high quality research-led teaching, through their training of postgraduate research students, delivery of postgraduate taught courses, and its leadership in undergraduate teaching. The School works closely with the local NHS, having a number of jointly funded clinical posts to ensure this relationship is effective and strong for both research and student education.

Leeds Institute of Biomedical & Clinical Sciences (LIBACS) Director: Professor Philip Hopkins

LIBACS undertakes clinically-driven research from the level of the gene through cellular, tissue and organ to clinical trials. Our vision is to develop a sustainable centre of excellence for the advancement of patient care by translating research results into clinical practise and contributing to medical education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our research interests are encapsulated in 6 clinical themes (Gastrointestinal inflammation & tumorigenesis, Genetic disorders, Infection & immunity, Neuroscience, Perinatal medicine, Perioperative outcomes & technologies) underpinned by 4 generic science technology strands (Animal models, Cell biology, Gene regulations & Genomics). We are based predominantly at the St James’s University Hospital site.

Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine (LICAMM), Director: Professor Mark Kearney

LICAMM integrates basic and clinical scientists with a common goal of understanding the mechanisms underpinning common chronic diseases of human health and developing new approaches to treating patients at an individual and population level. At the heart of LICAMMs philosophy is a vibrant multidisciplinary approach to science that provides a platform to deliver internationally competitive translational research and teaching in disorders including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases) our key aim is to improve the lives of our patients and the experience of our students.

Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (LIHS) Director: Professor Tim Ensor

LIHS delivers problem-driven research that supports decisions about the content or delivery of healthcare. Our interdisciplinary approach incorporates expertise in applied health research designs, health implementation sciences, social sciences, health economics, informatics and statistics, as well as skills in communicating with basic scientists, policy makers, healthcare providers, public and patients. We conduct research at the individual, population and organisational level.

Leeds Institute of Medical Education (LIME) Director: Professor Trudie Roberts

LIME provides the administrative support, co-ordination and leadership for the School of Medicine’s undergraduate medical degree, including admissions, curriculum development, assessment, student support and clinical placement liaison. It provides the technology-enhanced learning and innovation support for the School of Medicine. LIME also has a very active scholarship programme of research and innovation in medical education and uses its expertise to influence medical education policy and practice nationally and internationally. To achieve this it works with a range of stakeholders including the academic community, the profession, the public, regulators and policy makers.

The Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology (LICAP) Director: Professor Tim Bishop

The Leeds Institute of Cancer Studies and Pathology addresses both laboratory based and clinical research into cancer with a major focus on translational science. LICAP is one of the largest cancer Institutes in the country and has major financial support from the cancer charities. The laboratories and clinical research are all based on the St James’s site with laboratory activities being located in the Wellcome Trust Brenner Building and adjacent buildings while the clinical work is based within Bexley Wing. The Institute consists of seven Sections with the following interests:

Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (LIRMM), Director: Professor Paul Emery

LIRMM is dedicated to improving diagnosis, therapy, intervention and outcome across the spectrum of rheumatic and musculoskeletal medicine. It boasts a dynamic portfolio of research and education, delivering wide-ranging clinical, translational and basic research across five Sections: Clinical Musculoskeletal Medicine, Experimental Musculoskeletal Medicine, Clinical Biomechanics and Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine and Orthopaedics. A multi-disciplinary approach is the core of our activities, with significant interdisciplinary links between Experimental and Clinical research. LIRMM’s clinical activities are focussed at Chapel Allerton Hospital, which is also base for our NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (LMBRU) and our basic sciences at St James’s University Hospital.

Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research (LICTR) Director: Professor Julia Brown

LICTR delivers innovative design, delivery and knowledge transfer in clinical trials research. Our multidisciplinary approach, in collaboration with basic scientists, clinicians, policy makers, healthcare providers, public and patients and University colleagues, delivers internationally competitive research and teaching that makes a significant contribution to the evidence base for healthcare delivery. The Institutes research is conducted through the Clinical Trials Research Unit where we have expertise in design and conduct of complex clinical trials incorporating novel designs to evaluate CTIMPs, complex interventions, diagnostics, medical devices and surgery.

St James’s University Hospital Campus Infrastructure and Facilities (SCIF) Director: Professor Pam Jones

This group covers activities that cover School of Medicine functions for Institutes at St James’s University Hospital that span more than one institute including biomedical research facilities, student education, IT, health and safety, estates, seminars, PGR studentships and business support functions. These functions help support the 5 adjacent buildings on the site.

There are 3 Institutes with staff and students at St James’s: LICAP (Leeds Institute of Cancer studies and Pathology), LIBACS (Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences), LIRMM (Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine). These three institutes are dedicated to basic, translational, clinical and health research integrated with student education.

Biological Sciences

The Faculty of Biological Sciences is one of the leading groups of life-science researchers within the UK, offering superb facilities, providing a high quality research training environment and delivering an exceptional student education.

Our position amongst the UK elite for bioscience research was confirmed in the last government Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 when we were ranked 4th for biological sciences in the UK by the leading scientific journal Nature based on the number of staff producing research that was “world leading" or "internationally excellent”.

In addition to 110 academic staff, the Faculty has over 400 postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students supported by a current active research grant portfolio of some £53m derived from a range of sources including charities, research councils, the European Union and industry.

With around 2000 undergraduate students and 150 taught postgraduate students, we are one of the largest life sciences faculties in the UK. Our programmes cover the breadth of the biological sciences with undergraduate programmes in the areas of biology, biochemistry, microbiology, sport and exercise sciences and medical sciences including physiology and neuroscience.

Significant investments in our infrastructure contribute to our dynamic and vibrant research environment, offering excellent opportunities for leading edge research focused around key areas, including neuroscience, sports and exercise science, membrane biology, and structural molecular biology.

The Faculty has 3 Schools:

  • School of Biomedical Sciences
  • School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • School of Biology

School of Biomedical Sciences

The School is one of three research Schools in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at Leeds – one of the largest groupings of biological scientists in the United Kingdom. It currently contains 48 academic staff and independent research fellows within three Research Groups – Integrative Membrane Biology, Neuroscience and Cardiovascular & Sports Sciences. Interests are broad-ranging, from fundamental studies on the structures and functions of membrane proteins, to physiological questions in the mammalian cardiovascular and nervous systems – all the way to up to studies of health, exercise and disease in humans. Research in the School is well-funded from RCUK, charitable and industry sources and there is an exciting and interactive environment for modern research relating to animal and human health, as well as access to cutting-edge research equipment including one of the first automated planar patch-clamp systems in academia. Research space is recently refurbished to a high standard. The Faculty and the University as a whole operate “low-wall” principles for research groupings, centres and schools with the aim of encouraging cross-disciplinary research and integrative approaches to big scientific questions. A number of staff are located within, or collaborate with researchers in the Leeds Institute of Genetic health and Therapy (LIGHT) contiguous with the Leeds General Infirmary and giving direct access to clinical colleagues. This places the School in a powerful scientific environment that encourages and supports research and research-training at the highest level.