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Senior Database Curator - Cancer Genetics

Salary in the region of £36,373 - £44,011 (dependent on skills and experience) plus excellent benefits

Fixed Term Contract for 1.5 years

We are seeking a motivated and experienced scientist in cancer informatics to play a crucial role in the expansion and curation of the Cancer Gene Census in the COSMIC team at the Sanger institute, Hinxton. In this project, we aim to describe in detail every cancer-causing gene and how its mutated dysfunction drives disease.

COSMIC ( is working with Open Targets ( to expand the world’s most comprehensive description of the genes causing human cancer. This is an exciting position within the COSMIC team, where you will have the opportunity to explore & interpret a wide range of literature, database and analytic resources to maximise the impact of this high-profile global resource, the Cancer Gene Census.

You will work together with COSMIC scientific team, bringing a range of analytic, curation and literature techniques to describe the oncogenic impact of genes implicated in cancer, including content across broad genomic surveys and model organism experiments. Currently the Census contains over 700 genes with full mechanistic description, together with a complete dysfunction impact assessment of approx. 1/3 of them. Our aim is to expand the Cancer Gene Census with new genes, and to generate full descriptive coverage of all Census genes with evidence of oncogenic activity, with descriptive evidence-based content including: mechanistic processes by which these genes are mutated to drive disease, definition of their impact in every cancer type, and description of oncogenic dysfunction of each gene in terms of the 10 Hallmarks of Cancer.

During this project, you will have substantial opportunities for learning and development, working closely with informaticians and cancer scientists in COSMIC, in the Sanger Institute, and software/database developers in Open Targets; informatic assistance is available to candidates with strong scientific expertise. The Cancer Gene Census is frequently cited in publications and regularly used as a key datasource in cancer genome analytics and databases; this project extends and completes this high-profile resource, offering multiple opportunities for very citeable publications. This project is funded for 18 months in the first instance, with opportunities for extension as the resource grows

Job Reference

Essential Skills


  • PhD in Bioinformatic or Biosciences discipline (or equivalent experience)

Essential Skills

  • Substantial knowledge and experience of cancer genetics and biology
  • Previous experience with scientific literature
  • Self-motivated, able to work independently and organise own workload
  • Good communication skills both oral and written      

Ideal Skills

  • Experience of relational databases
  • Data handling skills 

Other information

Open Targets is a pioneering public-private partnership between Biogen, EMBL-EBI, GSK, Sanger, and Takeda, located on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. Open Targets brings together expertise from five complementary institutions to systematically identify and prioritise targets from which safe and effective medicines can be developed, to help others find good targets, and to get those targets adopted into drug discovery pipelines. 

We currently focus on oncology, immunology and neurodegeneration through an R&D framework that can be applied to all aspects of human disease. We believe that evidence generated in the most human relevant systems showing which targets are causing disease will have a significant impact on the successful development of new medicines. To build a good therapeutic hypothesis we need to find not only which targets are involved, but also how we might alter complex disease mechanisms.

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 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: 24th June 2018  - applications will be considered and reviewed on a rolling basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.