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Postdoctoral Fellow - Statistical Genetics - Soranzo Faculty

Salary £31,115 to £34,151 plus excellent benefits.

Fixed Term until 30/09/2020

We are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Statistician/Statistical Genetic Analysis Postdoctoral Fellow to work in the Soranzo team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute ( The post will suit an ambitious and talented genetic analyst/statistician, who is interested in applying his/her skills in the genetics/genomics field.

The successful candidate will be involved in genomic and statistical analyses of large-scale genetic datasets (involving both densely-imputed genotypes, and whole-genome sequencing), extending previous GWAS studies in population based cohorts (e.g. Gieger et al Nature 2011, van der Harst et al Nature 2012, Astle et al. Cell 2016).

The aims of this work are to exploit large-scale genetic datasets such as the INTERVAL and UK Biobank studies to characterise the spectrum of rare genetic variation, to quantify their contribution to variation in high-dimensional haematological measurements, and to dissect causal influences on diseases of immunity, haemostasis and iron transport. The selected candidate will be part of the Theme 1 of the NIHR-funded Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Donor Health and Genomics (, Theme 1), and will work with an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, epidemiologists, computational scientists, statisticians and wet lab scientists seeking to study the functional impact of rare human sequence variation in complex traits and disease.  

The project will also involve collaboration with the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (CEU), Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge. The CEU conducts world-leading interdisciplinary research with a major focus on the prediction and prevention of cardiovascular diseases using studies conducted in more than 2.5 million participants. Professor John Danesh is the Unit's overall Director, and Dr Adam Butterworth leads the cardiovascular statistical genetics. More information about our collective interests and activities can be found at

The post-holder will be responsible for the preparation and analysis of large-scale genetic datasets for a population based cohort and the analysis of associations of low-frequency and rare genetic variation with phenotypes. The work of the post-holder is expected to lead to high-impact publications. 

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Postgraduate degree in a quantitative science, including but not limited to statistics and statistical genetics 
  • Firm grounding in statistical methods as evidenced by a documented experience with use of statistical packages, including those for high-throughput analysis of genetic data such as BoltLMM, SNPtest, GCTA, PLINK, imputation tools etc
  • Documented previous statistics experience working with large-scale genetic datasets, ideally in relation to complex human traits 
  • High level report writing, including typesetting using Latex 
  • Programming skills in Perl, Phyton, C, C++ or equivalent languages and previous experience with R 
  • Experience of working in Linux-based operating systems including computer clusters 
  • Excellent communication, organisational and problem solving skills 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Ability to work to tight timelines 
  • Ability to communicate efficiently with a diverse array of scientific expertise 
  • Enthusiasm, commitment and attention to detail 

Ideal Skills

  • Experience in working with whole-genome sequence data 
  • Experience in working with genomics data, eg RNA-seq, ChIP-seq 
  • Strong interest in human disease and or population genetics 
  • Database design, including MySQL, SQL and Oracle 
  • Strong interest in human disease and or population genetics 
  • Documented scientific writing skills 

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: 18th May 2017, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.