Senior Staff Scientist - Open Targets Validation Laboratory

Senior Staff Scientist - Open Targets Validation Laboratory

Senior Staff Scientist - Open Targets Validation Laboratory

Salary range; £44,159 to £53,432 per annum, plus benefits 

Fixed term for 2 years

We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated senior staff scientist to lead the establishment and operation of the Open Targets Validation Lab at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. This exciting opportunity will involve working with world experts from both academia and industry to validate targets generated by Open Targets projects from multiple disease areas such as oncology & neurodegeneration.

With the completion of the human genome and analysis of variation across multiple individuals, attention is now turning to the functional analysis of genes in mammals and their validation as therapeutic targets. Open Targets aims to provide 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 wish to establish a new validation lab to bridge the gap between genome scale target identification projects and uptake of nominated targets into drug development pipelines. Open Targets supports multiple large-scale experimental projects that generate lists of potential targets. While a small number of these targets will be followed up by the original project team, capacity constraints mean many potentially interesting results are never pursued.  

You will lead the Validation Lab to complement the work of the original project teams by operating in a systematic, medium throughput manner to provide independently generated evidence to provide further evidence for these targets, taking them a step closer to a drug development pipeline. Target perturbation will be achieved using CRISPR, RNAi and/or small molecule inhibitors; liquid handling equipment will facilitate medium throughput processing of multiple targets in multiple different model systems; state of the art live cell imaging will provide one of multiple assay end points. A team of three people (including this position) will work on this project initially for 2 years with the opportunity for renewal and expansion based on performance and proof of value. You will have the opportunity to work closely with academic teams to transfer technology, targets & cell models into the Validation Lab; whilst also working closely with the industry partners to ensure relevant evidence is generated that will inform the drug development decision making process.   

This project will form part of the Open Targets ( collaboration between the EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute), GSK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Sanger), Celgene, Sanofi, and Takeda.

We welcome applications from a broad range of candidates and are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work place.

Grade 1
Specific Salary range
44,159 to 53,432
Full Time or Part Time
Full Time
Contract Type
Fixed Term - External Funding Other
Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in molecular biology, cellular biology, developmental biology, cancer biology or related discipline
  • Postdoctoral experience or equivalent industry experience
  • Exceptional communication, organisational and presentation skills
  • Self-motivated, ability to work independently and organise own workload
  • Proven track record for delivering multi-stakeholder project
  • Good at networking and relationship building
  • Experience using CRISPR technology
  • Excellent collaborator
  • Experience establishing, using or overseeing a medium/high throughput pipeline, including assay development and process improvement
  • Experience recruiting, training and managing others
  • Ability to analyse data and present to stakeholders
  • Detail oriented and highly organised
  • Excellent time management skills

Ideal Skills

  • Experience managing others
  • Understanding of the inner workings of both academia and industry
  • Strategic planning, ability to create a vision and plan to achieve that vision

Other information

Open Targets is a pioneering public-private partnership between EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Sanger), Celgene, Sanofi and Takeda, located on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK.  Open Targets brings together expertise from six 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 for discovering new medicines and share its data openly in the interests of accelerating drug discovery.

Our Campus: Set over 125 acres, the stunning and dynamic Wellcome Genome Campus is the biggest aggregate concentration of people in the world working on the common theme of Genomes and BioData. It brings together a diverse and exceptional scientific community, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to pursue some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Our Benefits: Our employees have access to a comprehensive range of benefits and facilities including:

  • Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme and Life Assurance
  • Group Income Protection
  • Private Health Insurance
  • 25 days annual leave, increasing by one day a year to a maximum of 30
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, a childcare voucher scheme, Campus Nursery and Summer holiday club
  • Two days paid Employee Volunteering Leave a year
  • Employee Discount Scheme
  • Campus Gym, tennis courts, sports hall plus a range of dining facilities
  • Active Campus Sports and Social Club
  • Free Campus Bus Service

Genome Research Limited hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.

Closing date: 20 August 2019 however applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis which may result in the post being filled before the advertised closing date.