Advanced Research Assistant

We are looking for a highly-motivated, self-driven person to join our group as an Advanced Research Assistant and provide experimental support for our single cell RNA-seq studies. You will work with Gosia Trynka and Emma Davenport’s groups at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Our goal is to use genetic approaches to identify gene pathways that are driving autoimmune diseases and to propose novel targets for therapeutic validation.

About the Role: 

As a part of an interdisciplinary team of experimentalists, computational biologists, clinical and industry collaborators you will lead the generation of a large scale single cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) dataset from 500 healthy donors and immune disease patients.  We will integrate the scRNA-seq with genotyping data to map expression quantitative trait loci eQTLs at the single cell level (sceQTLs). This is an exciting opportunity to be engaged in all aspects of a large scale project, from planning to large scale data generation, analysis and novel discoveries. Our goal is to accelerate drug discovery by integrating immune disease GWAS variants with the sceQTL maps generated in this project to identify the most promising therapeutic targets for follow up by the industry partners working closely with us.

 About the Project:

This project is supported by Open Targets ( and provides a great opportunity to deliver real translational solutions working at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, with partners including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK),  Sanofi and Bristol Meyers Squibb.

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Open Targets
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Technicians Commitment
Salary per annum
27,788-33,624 (dependent on experience)
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time/ Part Time/Flexible Working
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Contract Length
1 year
Closing Date
30 September 2021
Job Reference

Essential Skills

Technical Skills:

  • Good experience in handling mammalian cells (tissue culture). 
  • Experience of core molecular biology techniques e.g. PCR, RT-PCR, cloning. 
  • Strict adherence to SOPs and attention to detail when performing routine tasks.

Competencies and Behaviours:

  • Thorough record keeping, with strong organisational and communication skills, and good work ethic. 
  • A team player who enjoys working with others in a friendly and collegiate manner. 
  • Ability to build collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders 
  • Ability to work independently 


Other information

Please apply with your CV and Cover letter outlining your suitability for the role addressing the criteria set out above and in the job description.

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.