Computational Senior Staff Scientist

Looking for an opportunity to demonstrate your computational skills and contribute to research that focuses on improving health outcomes for childhood cancers?

We are seeking a computational senior staff scientist to join the Behjati group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Our group sits at the interface of cancer genomic and single cell technologies (transcriptomics, spatial transcriptomics, multi-omics), which we utilise to unravel the identity and origin of cancer cells. We have a particular interest in childhood cancers. Some examples of projects and areas in which our lab is working include:

  • Building on our past work on Wilms tumour (Coorens et al., Science, 2019), the most common childhood kidney cancer, we have undertaken to generate the world's largest database of Wilms tumour genomes, exomes, and transcriptomes. One of the greatest unmet needs in Wilms tumour is identifying those who are unlikely to respond to standard treatment. Using this database of tumours, together with detailed clinical information, we will be able to build a predictive model of Wilms tumour progression, identify the prevalence of different driver mutations, and discover the transcriptional consequences of these changes.
  • Single cell transcriptomics has generated new insights into the cell state and transcriptomic correlates of a range of tumours (Kildisiute et al., Science Advances, 2021; Young et al., Science, 2018). However, these efforts have been limited in scale to a few tens of patients. We are pursuing approaches to generate longitudinal samples and data from hundreds and thousands of individuals.
  • Work by ourselves and others have shown that childhood cancer is developmental in a way that adult tumours are not (Young et al., Nature Communications, 2021). This makes childhood cancers a particularly attractive source of oncofetal targets: genes expressed only in development and cancer but not post-natal tissues. We are building on our existing data, and that generated through the human cell atlas to systematically identify such genes in childhood cancers.

As a computational senior staff scientist, you will have the following key responsibilities:

  • Managing your own primary project(s) within these broad themes, but you will also contribute to other projects in the group
  • Provide expertise and supervise less experienced team members.
  • Build and maintain collaborative partnerships within and outside the Group

You are welcome to contact Matthew Young with informal queries before deciding whether to apply.

Job Logo
Athena Swan
Salary per annum
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time/Flexible working considered
Contract Type
Closing Date
17 July 2022
Job Reference

Essential Skills

Technical Skills:

  • PhD in scientific discipline (e.g. Computational biology, Molecular Biology, Physics) 
  • Post-doctoral experience including proven track record (publications and meetings) in field of expertise 
  • Strong knowledge of mathematical methods for analysis of sequencing data 
  • Experience working with bulk or single cell transcriptomes, and/or whole genomes  

Competencies and Behaviours:

  • Ability to test, implement and troubleshoot new approaches and techniques 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proven ability to work effectively within a team 
  • Ability to be independent and organised 
  • Good attention to detail and record keeping for sample and experimental tracking 

Ideal Skills

Technical Skills:

  • Proficiency with R, Python, and Unix/Linux. 
  • Experience with cancer genomics or transcriptomics 
  • Previous managerial experience 

Other information

Application Process:

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

We have adopted a flexible hybrid model to enable a balance of remote and on Campus working. You can also find out more about our inspiring campus here. The working pattern for this role can be discussed further at interview stage.

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.