Computational Senior/Staff Scientist- medical genetics

We are seeking a highly motivated computational staff scientist or senior staff sceintist to join the Martin group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The group investigates the genetic basis of rare and common diseases, primarily in populations with European and South Asian ancestry. We currently have projects in the following areas:

  • The role of both rare and common variants in rare developmental disorders, using data from the Deciphering Developmental Disorders study (N=13,000 exome-sequenced patients) and the Genomics England 100,000 Genomes project (N~33,000 whole-genome sequenced rare disease patients), in collaboration with GeneDx (>60,000 exome sequenced patients) and with Matt Hurles’ group. We have a particular focus on the contribution of recessive variants across diverse populations (building on previous work), and on the interplay of rare and common variants. We are also beginning new projects investigating the genetic contribution to sex differences in autism and autistic traits, and on the impact of endogamy versus consanguinity on rare disease risk.
  • The genetics of cognitive and behavioral traits, using sequence and genotype data from UK Biobank and from two large UK birth cohorts, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and the Millenium Cohort Study (N~20,000), in collaboration with with Matt Hurles’ group. This work is building on recent findings about the genetic overlap between rare neurodevelopmental disorders and cognitive/mental health traits in the general population (e.g. Niemi et al., Nature, 2018; Gardner et al., Nature, 2022).
  • The genetic basis of complex diseases and traits in British South Asian populations, using data from the Genes & Health project (N~50,000 British Pakistani and Bangladeshi individuals with linked electronic health records). An industry consortium has recently funded exome-sequencing of the cohort to complement the existing genotype chip data. We are investigating the contribution of rare and common variants to complex disease risk, as well as the role of autozygosity.

As a staff scientist or senior staff scientist, you will have your own primary project(s) within these broad themes, but will also contribute to other projects in the group and supervise less experienced team members. A senior staff scientist would be expected to carry more supervisory responsibility and to contribute more to the running of projects and the strategic direction of the group. Prospective candidates are welcome to contact Hilary Martin with informal queries before deciding whether to apply. 

Duration: 3 years, with the possibility of extension

Job Logo
Athena Swan
Salary per annum
38,433 to 55,341
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Contract Length
3 years
Job Reference

Essential Skills

Technical Skills:

  • PhD in a relevant area (genetics, genomics, bioinformatics) 
  • Postdoctoral experience in human genomics (Essential for senior staff scientist only)
  • Strong publishing record 
  • Experience analysing large-scale human genetic data 
  • Full working proficiency in Python or Perl, R, and Unix/Linux 
  • Knowledge of the literature on rare and/or common disease genetics 
  • Knowledge of statistical methods appropriate for large-scale genetic research 

 Competencies and Behaviours

  • Enthusiasm and commitment 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Strong problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to communicate ideas and results effectively both verbally and in writing 
  • Ability to prioritise, work independently and organise own workload 
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with and independently supervise less experienced scientists 
  • A growing scientific independence (Essential for senior staff scientist only)
  • Line-management or supervisory experience, with a strong desire to further develop leadership skills (Essential for senior staff scientist only)

Ideal Skills

  • Knowledge of the literature on population genetics 
  • Previous experience writing highly reproducible code with github, RMarkdown or similar 

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. Please also indicate in your Cover Letter why you are interested in joining the Martin group and which of our research areas is of particular interest to you.  

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