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Postdoctoral Fellow - Comparative Analysis of Cancer Genomes

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

Fixed term for 3 years.

We are seeking a Computational Biologist to join the Garnett team to lead the comparative genomic analysis of patient tumours and a new generation of tumour organoid models.

In collaboration with Cancer Research UK, we are deriving and characterising hundreds of new cancer organoid cell culture models as a resource for the community. These new cell models will be whole-genome DNA-sequenced, RNA-sequenced, and profiled for their sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs. We aim to evaluate the utility of organoid cultures to capture the genomic features of patient tumours and for modelling patient responses to therapy. This project is part of the Human Cancer Model Initiative (

We seek a talented Computational Biologist to drive forward the analysis of these large dataset. They will oversee the analyses of the genomic data, including comparative analyses with patient primary tissue, analyses of tumour heterogeneity, and integration with drug sensitivity data. The candidate will have access to exceptional sequencing and IT infrastructure at the Sanger Institute. As part of a multidisciplinary team, they will be tasked with contributing towards the development of algorithms and pipelines for this project and the team, as well as interpreting the output of complex data sets.

The ideal applicant will have a PhD in cancer biology, cancer bioinformatics, or a related discipline. Only applicants with demonstrated expertise in the analysis of large genomic datasets and ideally cancer genomic datasets will be considered. Experience with at least one scripting language would be a requirement. They will join a lively group that combines the expertise of wet-lab biologists and bioinfomaticians, and will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with a number of internal and external groups.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Educated to PhD level in one of the following fields: bioinformatics, computational biology, cancer genomics, or computer science
  • Advanced level programming skills suitable for integrating genomic and bioinformatics datasets and the ability to annotate genetic findings
  • Previous experience working with next-generation sequencing data
  • Ability to communicate ideas and results effectively
  • Ability to work independently and organise own workload
  • Experience with at least one scripting language

Ideal Skills

  • Statistical skills (significance tests, statistical distributions, fitting of statistical models)
  • Good publication record

Other information

Postdoctoral Fellows are typically in their first or second postdoctoral position as part of a period of early career research training. The position is initially for a 3 year fixed term.  

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:  8th June 2017, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.