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Postdoctoral Fellow - Anderson Faculty

Salary £31,115 to £39,004 plus excellent benefits.

Three years fixed term.

The immune-system needs to be sensitive enough to efficiently detect and clear invading pathogens whilst having the specificity to ensure that an individual’s healthy cells are not targeted. Getting this delicate balance wrong can lead to major health problems and even death, either through a drop in sensitivity leading to infectious disease or a drop in specificity leading to autoimmunity. The Genomics of Inflammation and Immunity group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, led by Dr. Carl Anderson, aims to understand how genetic and genomic variation influences this immune rheostat.

An exciting post-doctoral role is available within this multi-disciplinary team to work on a large-scale systems vaccinology study of rotavirus vaccine response. Rotavirus is the major cause of acute gastroenteritis in children under the age of five. In developed countries rotavirus vaccines are highly effective and have greatly reduced morbidity. However, in developing countries vaccine efficacy is significantly lower, despite minimal geographical variation in the circulating strains. In collaboration with scientists at the OUCRU Vietnam (Stephen Baker, Rukie de Alwis), we are recruiting 1000 Vietnamese infants into a longitudinal study to identify the molecular signatures of rotavirus vaccine response and the genetic variants that regulate these. The successful applicant will play a leading role in the project, combining genetic data with multi-omics data (transcriptomics, metagenomics and proteomics) collected both before and longitudinally after vaccination to understand the biological basis of vaccine response (antibody titre and vaccine failure). Successful candidates will also be expected to drive forward the project, working closely with the collaborative team to accomplish the scientific objectives. 

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in a relevant quantitative subject (e.g. Genetics/Genomics, Statistics, Computational Biology). 
  • Proficient programmer (e.g. Perl, Python). 
  • Experience with command-line UNIX/Linux and cluster computing. 
  • Strong statistical skills with experience of analysing large genomic data sets (e.g. data from hundreds of samples from next-generation sequencing assays). 
  • Motivation and ambition to make a personal contribution to genomic research. 
  • A passion for problem solving and creative thinking. 
  • Proven independent working style, with high self-motivation and critical thinking skills 
  • Strong project management/organisational skills. 
  • Ability to deliver high quality work according to agreed timelines. 
  • Ability to work with others in a friendly and collegiate environment. 
  • Excellent communication skills

Ideal Skills

  • Proven experience and interest in statistical and computational methods development. 
  • Familiarity with multi-omic and/or longitudinal data analysis. 
  • A strong interest or experience in the fields of immunology and/or vaccination. 

Other information

The Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. We use state of the art large-scale genomic approaches to drive world-leading projects to uncover the basis of genetic and infectious disease. Our goal is to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

The Institute is located near Cambridge, UK on the stunning Wellcome Genome Campus. This growing and dynamic site is the British hub of genomic science. It hosts the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Open Targets, a Biodata Innovation Centre and will soon host Genomics England Limited’s 100,000 Genomes Sequencing Centre. The Campus is also home to Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science. Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation and supports learning by drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Campus. Its mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society.

To help researchers to develop their skills and networks, the Institute hosts a range of scientific seminars with internal and invited speakers, scientific group meetings and skills development workshops.

Our Benefits include: Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, Group Income Protection, Healthcare scheme, Childcare Vouchers, Workplace Nursery and 25 days Annual Leave, increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30, plus Bank Holidays. We also have a gym, two cafes, dining facilities, and a free campus bus service. Our thriving Sports and Social Club provides many opportunities to meet with people working across the campus.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.  

Closing date for applications: 28th May 2017, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.