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Postdoctoral Fellow in Genome-Wide Screens of Gene Function

Salary range £31,115 to £39,004 per annum depending on experience plus excellent benefits.

Fixed term for 3 years

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is seeking a highly motivated researcher with strong skills in experimental cellular genetics to fill a postdoctoral fellow position. The aim of the fellow is to perform optimized genome-wide screens to determine variation in and modifiers of gene function in healthy humans. 

The goal of the project is to determine genes required for survival and proliferation in induced pluripotent stem cell lines from many healthy individuals. To this end, we are building on the HIPSCI resource (, which has generated over 1000 cell lines from more than 350 healthy donors, and extensively characterized them with a range of high throughput genomic assays.  The successful candidate will perform original research in applying optimized genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screens, already established, to the lines from this resource, with the ultimate aim of determining the inter-individual variation in gene function and its common modifiers. It is important you have the ability to bridge from conceptualizing the research in the context of current scientific knowledge, to planning the experiments, carrying them out to high standard, and robustly analyzing the data. You are expected to make progress on your project as the first priority, while budgeting time for training in further skills, piloting new leads, and potentially collaborating on other related projects. To function effectively in a multidisciplinary, collaborative setting, you have to be able to communicate well with scientists from diverse backgrounds, and be a pleasant colleague.

This position offers the opportunity to work at one of the world’s leading genomic centres at the forefront of genomic research. You will have access to Sanger's core experimental facilities (sequencing, flow sorting, single cell genomics, cellular phenotyping, etc.) and computational resources, including a 15000+ core computational cluster, the largest in life science research in Europe, and multiple petabytes of high-speed cluster file systems. This provides an exciting opportunity for you to not only plan and carry out experiments, but to also be actively involved in analyzing the generated large scale data, and building statistical models for them, with the help of our team of three Ph.D level quantitative researchers. Thus, the opportunity is especially suited for proven wet-lab scientists looking to add to their data analysis skills.

We are part of a dynamic and collaborative environment at the Genome Campus and, although we seek someone who can work independently, you will have the opportunity to interact with researchers across many Programmes at the Institute. In particular, we often share interests with colleagues from other teams in the Cellular Genetics, Human Genetics, and Cancer, Ageing, and Somatic Mutation, as well as our neighbours at the European Bioinformatics Institute.


Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in a relevant subject area 
  • Substantial experience in a subset of cell culture work, molecular cloning, genetic engineering, genetic mapping, genome-wide screening 
  • Strong publishing record 
  • Motivation to understand how cells work, and how this varies between humans
  • Ability to communicate ideas and results effectively 
  • Ability to work independently and organise own workload 

Ideal Skills

  • Previous experience with CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens 
  • Working proficiency in UNIX/Linux and a scripting language (e.g. Python, R, Perl) 
  • Experience in formulating the world in statistical models and applying them to real data
  • Proven independent working style, problem solving, and generation of novel ideas.

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: 31st January 2018however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.

Please contact Leopold Parts ( for informal enquiries.