Advanced Research Assistant in GBM spatial multi-omics

The opportunity:

The Bayraktar group is seeking an Advanced Research Assistant for spatial transcriptomics of the brain tumour microenvironment (TME). You will be doing laboratory work using cutting edge spatial transcriptomic technologies that can resolve cell types and cellular interactions in tissue samples in situ. You will be embedded in the Spatial Genomics team, a core research group that works closely with the Bayraktar team to scale these technologies at the Sanger Institute.


The team:

The Bayraktar group studies the cellular wiring of human tissues using spatial genomics, focusing on brain development and disease. Our highly collaborative and international team has expertise in single cell/spatial genomics, microscopy and multi-modal data analysis. We lead an international project on resolving the TME-tumour cell interactions in glioblastoma using single cell and spatial transcriptomics. The Spatial Genomics team is a core research group that provides histology, spatial transcriptomics and imaging expertise to the Institute and works with multiple research teams.


About the role/you:

You will participate in exciting projects to spatially map the cellular environments of human glioblastoma tumours. Your primary role will be to perform daily laboratory work on 1) human tissue preservation and sectioning, 2) Visium spatial transcriptomics and 3) high multiplexed in situ hybridisation (In Situ Sequencing). You will use multiple sample and data trackers to carefully keep track of important experimental metadata. You will be involved in supporting the day-to-day management of the lab, including monitoring lab resources, reporting equipment/experiment faults, and assist in trouble-shooting.


You are expected to bring basic histology and tissue imaging skills to this role. You will be trained in new technologies such Visium and In Situ Sequencing as well as user-friendly confocal microscopy. The role will require you to be adaptable and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills to closely coordinate with Staff Scientists and Postdoctoral Fellows leading these projects.


Relevant publications of the team:


Cell2location maps fine-grained cell types in spatial transcriptomic data. Kleshchevnikov V,  Shmatko A….Stegle O,  Bayraktar OA. bioRxiv 2020 (Nature Biotechnology in press).


Transcriptome-wide spatial RNA profiling maps the cellular architecture of the developing human neocortex. Roberts K, Aivazidis A...Hemberg M, Bayraktar OA. bioRxiv 2021


Astrocyte layers in the mammalian cerebral cortex revealed by a single-cell in situ transcriptomic map. Bayraktar OA*, Bartels T…Geschwind DH, Rowitch DH*. Nature Neuroscience 2020.


Job Logo
Athena Swan
Salary per annum
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Contract Length
24 months
Job Reference

Essential Skills

Technical Skills:

  • BSc (or equivalent) in a biological science or equivalent experience.
  • Histology experience with tissue preservation (e.g. fixation, cryopreservation) and cryosectioning.
  • Experience with immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.
  • Basic background and experience in fluorescent microscopy of cells or tissues.
  • Ability to test, implement, and troubleshoot new techniques and protocols.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good attention to detail and record keeping for sample and experimental tracking.

Competency/Behavioural Skills:

  • Motivation and ambition to make a personal contribution to GRL research
  • Excellent communication skills to allow efficient interactions with collaborators
  • Team player with the ability to work with others in a collegiate and collaborative environment
  • Ability to effectively prioritise, multi-task and work independently
  • Demonstrates inclusivity and respect for all

Other information

Application Process:

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


Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis and the role will close when a successful appointment has been made.

About Us

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world leading genomics research centre. Our findings are used to improve health and to understand life on Earth.

Our benefits:

There’s an attractive benefits package on offer at the Wellcome Genome Campus. We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.
As well as the usual benefits you would expect, we go much further:

  • 25 days annual leave (extra 1 day to a maximum of 30 days for every year you work)
  • Auto-enrolment into a generous Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, with enhanced company contribution (for more information, see our Pensions page)
  • Up to 2 days annual paid volunteering leave
  • Up to 10 days paid Emergency Carers Leave per year
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, an on-site Workplace Nursery salary Sacrifice Schemes for pre-school children and Summer holiday club
  • Life Assurance is accessible on day 1 for all 
  • Group Income Protection Scheme (if on a contract exceeding 12 months)
  • Enhanced maternity, parental and adoption leave
  • Access to substantial number of courses and training events onsite
  • Private Healthcare Scheme 
  • Eyecare and Dental payment plans
  • Concessions and discounts from our corporate perks site

Being part of the Wellcome Genome Campus you will be part of the beautiful working environment with an impressive range of benefits, services and facilities also including:

  • Free bus service to and from Campus, covering various routes around Cambridge, Saffron Walden and surrounding villages
  • A car-share initiative
  • Free parking
  • A number of on-site venues where you can meet, eat and socialise with colleagues
  • A thriving Sports and Social Club which provides members with subsidised access to a gym, tennis courts, sports hall, fitness classes and a vibrant social calendar of events

In 2020 we were awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award. We will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.