Senior Bioinformatician

Open Targets has launched Open Targets Genetics (, a portal that aggregates large scale GWAS data with functional genomics data to identify potential drug targets at disease-associated loci.

Senior Bioinformatician role funded by Open Targets is available at the Wellcome Sanger Institute under the leadership of Dr. Maya Ghoussaini. This is an exciting opportunity for you to participate in the enhancement of the Open Targets Genetics Portal through the development of new functionality and features using state of the art statistical genetics analysis.

You will actively engage in the integration of data from several genetic analyses including rare variant association analyses, burden tests in large-scale datasets such as the UK Biobank, and tissue enrichment analyses.

You will have the opportunity to work across a range of analyses including:

  • Use of rare and expert-curated loss-of-function (LoF) variants to inform drug target identification, prioritisation and safety.
  • Enhance our Machine Learning approaches to refine the prioritisation of genes at GWAS-associated loci by incorporating associations from rare variants.
  • Integrate genetic and cell-specific genomic data to identify and validate causal links between targets and diseases.
  • Perform association analysis on UK Biobank data with a particular focus on therapeutic areas important for Open Targets.
  • Work together with other members of the Open Targets team on statistical genetics analysis for large scale sequence analysis.

 In this role, you will develop and apply computational pipelines to elucidate causal mechanisms through integrative analyses of data from GWAS, rare variants and burden tests, eQTL/pQTL, chromatin interactions and conformation, biobanks, and other related sources to identify and prioritise drug targets. You will use your existing expertise in genetics to design and implement appropriate solutions, and will keep up to date with developments in the fast moving field.

You will also have the opportunity to interact with active computational and experimental research teams using cutting edge genomic techniques across the Sanger Institute and Open Targets and work at the interface between academia and industry. You will work closely with members of the Open Targets Core Platform Team and Genetics Team as well as with our national and international collaborators. You will be supported in your personal and professional development and have the opportunity to lead peer-reviewed publications around using genetics and genomics approaches to guide drug discovery and present them at national and international conferences.

Job Logo
Open Targets
Salary per annum
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Contract Length
2 years
Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in Bioinformatics, or a closely related discipline.
  • Advanced level programming skills suitable for genetic and computational analyses, such as Python or R.
  • Previous experience in working with large-scale genetic datasets.
  • Firm grounding with statistical methods of complex and rare disease genetics such as genome wide association studies, whole exome/genome sequencing analyses, identification and quality control of rare variants.
  • Ability to work to tight timelines.
  • Demonstrable project management and organisational skills.
  • Fluent in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to communicate ideas and results effectively.
  • Ability to work independently and organise own workload.

Other information

Please apply with your CV and a Cover Letter outlining how you meet the criteria set out above and in the job description.

 This is a rolling advert, we will consider applications and hold interviews on an ongoing basis and the role will close when a successful appointment has been made.

About Open Targets

Open Targets is a pioneering public-private partnership between European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Sanger), Sanofi and Bristol Meyers Squibb (BMS), located at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK.  

Open Targets brings together expertise from five complementary institutions to generate evidence on the biological validity of therapeutic targets and provide an initial assessment of the likely effectiveness of pharmacological intervention on these targets, using genome-scale experiments and analysis. Open Targets aims to provide an R&D framework that applies to all aspects of human disease to improve the success rate of discovering new medicines and share data openly in the interest of accelerating drug discovery.