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Postdoctoral Fellow

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

Fixed term for 3 years.

We are seeking to appoint a highly motivated Postdoctoral Fellow to join the Adams Faculty Team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Synthetic lethality is a powerful strategy for treating cancer which exploits somatic mutations found in cancer genomes to specifically kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. The Experimental Cancer Genetics group ( aims to use isogenic cell line systems to identify synthetic lethal interactions, an approach used previously to identify clinically relevant gene interactions such as the interaction between BRCA1/2 and PARP.

We seek a talented biologist to lead our genetic screening efforts. The post holder will work with a group of postdocs and students to deploy CRISPR screening to identify synthetic lethal interactions and to explore the biology of these interactions. The role would suit someone with a background in cancer genetics or genome engineering. A background in vector construction and lentiviral production would be advantageous.

The project will involve high-throughput sequencing, high-throughput screening technologies, and is supported by a team of computational biologists. This project underpins a collaboration with the Netherlands Cancer Institute. 

Recent publications from the group include:


1 van der Weyden, L. et al. Genome-wide in vivo screen identifies novel host regulators of metastatic colonization. Nature 541, 233-236, doi:10.1038/nature20792 (2017).

2 Thompson, N., Adams, D. J. & Ranzani, M. Synthetic lethality: emerging targets and opportunities in melanoma. Pigment cell & melanoma research 30, 183-193, doi:10.1111/pcmr.12573 (2017).

3 Wong, C. C. et al. Inactivating CUX1 mutations promote tumorigenesis. Nature genetics 46, 33-38, doi:10.1038/ng.2846 (2014).

4 Robles-Espinoza, C. D. et al. POT1 loss-of-function variants predispose to familial melanoma. Nature genetics 46, 478-481, doi:10.1038/ng.2947 (2014).

5 Robles-Espinoza, C. D. et al. Germline MC1R status influences somatic mutation burden in melanoma. Nature communications 7, 12064, doi:10.1038/ncomms12064 (2016).

6 Perna, D. et al. BRAF inhibitor resistance mediated by the AKT pathway in an oncogenic BRAF mouse melanoma model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, E536-545, doi:10.1073/pnas.1418163112 (2015).

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in a relevant subject area
  • Previous experience in tissue culture 
  • Familiarity with molecular biology 
  • Ability to work both independently and within a team
  • Ability to communicate effectively with collaborators and at group/external meetings

Ideal Skills

  • Gene editing
  • Lentiviral production

Other information

Postdoctoral Fellows are typically in their first or second postdoctoral position as part of a period of early career research training. Successful applicant(s) who have submitted their PhD thesis and are awaiting their PhD award are encouraged to apply. This position is initially for a fixed term for 3 years.

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:  7th September 2017, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.

The interviews will take place 2-4 weeks following the advert closure.