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Postdoctoral Fellow (Population/Medical Genetics)

Salary in the region of £31,503 - £39,492 (dependent on experience) plus excellent benefits

Fixed term for 3 years

We are seeking to appoint a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow in human population/medical genomics to join Hilary Martin’s nascent group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The fellow will lead new and exciting projects using data from large cohorts of individuals enriched for parental relatedness (consanguinity), including East London Genes and Health (currently N~30,000 British South Asians), Born in Bradford (N=12,000, ~half with Pakistani ancestry), and the Deciphering Developmental Disorders study (N=10,000 trios, mixed ancestries). Populations with high levels of autozygosity are understudied, so we have a limited understanding of whether and how the genetic architecture of diseases differs between them and other populations. Additionally, these populations have unique features that provide exciting research opportunities (e.g. a much higher rate of homozygous knockouts, which may be informative about new drug targets). We work closely with the individuals and populations we’re studying in community engagement and dissemination of our scientific findings.

The primary responsibility will be to deploy cutting-edge genomic analyses of exome sequencing and genotype chip data from populations with high rates of parental relatedness to explore fine-scale structure, its impact on disease risk, and genetic architecture of both rare and complex diseases. This will build on recent work in the group which has focused on quantifying differences in genetic architecture of rare developmental disorders between populations with varying levels of autozygosity.

The precise projects will be tailored to your interests and expertise, but could include investigating such questions as: 1) Does autozygosity impact complex traits, and if so, through which types of variation? 2) Does autozygosity contribute to rare disorders through mechanisms more complex than simple monogenic recessive inheritance? Can individuals with high autozygosity help us to understand incomplete/variable penetrance? 3) To what extent does the biraderi (clan) structure in Pakistani populations impact the distribution of disease-causing variation? There will also be an opportunity to work with electronic health record data in collaboration with the new Health Data Research UK institutes in Cambridge and London, and to do recall studies of individuals with rare knockouts to shed light on gene function and potentially identify new drug targets.

There is a strong commitment to personal and professional development within the group, and you will be encouraged to develop your own ideas and projects within the scope of the group’s interests, and build-up a strong academic profile.

You will work in close collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams at the Sanger Institute (particularly the Hurles group) and elsewhere. The post will benefit from the Sanger Institute’s capability for the generation and analysis of large-scale genetic datasets.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in Population Genetics, Human Genomics or a relevant area
  • Experience in the analysis of large genomic datasets (genotype chip or sequencing data)

Personal attributes

  • Ability to work with others in a friendly and collegiate environment, but also to work independently
  • Ability to communicate effectively with team members and collaborators
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Ambition to make a personal contribution to genomic research
  • Ability to work to tight timelines



Ideal Skills

  • Proficient programmer (e.g. Python, R, Perl) and user of cluster computing
  • Experience in analysis of electronic health record data

Other information

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre and committed to training the next generation of genome scientists. Focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease and a world leader in the genomic revolution, our mission is to use genome sequences to advance understanding of human and pathogen biology in order to improve human health. We aim to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens. Our science is large-scale and organised into Programmes, led by our Faculty who conceive and deliver our science, and supported by our Scientific Operations teams responsible for all data production pipelines at the Institute.

Our Campus: Set over 125 acres, the stunning and dynamic Wellcome Genome Campus is the biggest aggregate concentration of people in the world working on the common theme of Genomes and BioData. It brings together a diverse and exceptional scientific community, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to pursue some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Our Benefits: Our employees have access to a comprehensive range of benefits and facilities including:

  • Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme and Life Assurance
  • Group Income Protection
  • Private Health Insurance
  • 25 days annual leave, increasing by one day a year to a maximum of 30
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, a childcare voucher scheme, Campus Nursery and Summer holiday club
  • Two days paid Employee Volunteering Leave a year
  • Employee Discount Scheme
  • Campus Gym, tennis courts, cricket pitch and sports hall plus a range of dining facilities
  • Active Campus Sports and Social Club
  • Free Campus Bus Service

Genome Research Limited is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We will consider all applicants without discrimination on grounds of disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law. We are open to a range of UK-based flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.

Closing date for applications: 27th May 2018. However, applications will be considered and reviewed on an ongoing basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.

Informal enquires can be directed to