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Postdoctoral Fellow - Human Brain Spatial Transcriptomics

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

Fixed term for 3 years

We are looking to appoint a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow in developmental neuroscience to join Omer Bayraktar’s new group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Our group will seek to explore the vast cellular diversity of cell types in the human body, with a primary focus in the brain. We can now identify cell types across human organs at single cell resolution using transcriptomic approaches. However, our ability to study human cell types in situ within the intact spatial context of tissues is still limited. To create single-cell level 3D maps of human organs, our group will establish large-scale and highly-multiplexed spatial transcriptomics methods. We will further use spatial transcriptomics to discover human disease phenotypes in situ. Our work will ultimately contribute to the generation of a comprehensive single cell level atlas of the human body in health and disease.

You will lead an exciting research project in mapping human brain cellular diversity with large-scale spatial transcriptomics. Your primary objectives will be 1) to establish high-content and high-throughput imaging-based spatial transcriptomics pipelines within a collaborative team and 2) to map cell types in the postnatal human cerebral cortex using these spatial methods.

You will be joining a new collaborative project as part of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) at Sanger that aims to develop spatial transcriptomics and tissue imaging at large scale. You will be expected to contribute to the RNA labeling, automated histology and imaging aspect of the project. You will work closely with a growing team of core scientists and researchers on the pipelining and image data analysis. You will also collaborate with external groups to obtain training in cutting-edge spatial transcriptomics methodology. In addition, you will collaborate with a network of neuroscience labs across the UK on mapping cortical cell types.

Your work will help shape the future research questions and methodology in the lab and you will be supported to develop your own research projects within the scope of the group’s interests. Our exposure to HCA projects at Sanger will also allow you to contribute to tissue applications outside the nervous system. You will be encouraged to participate in the design and planning of these projects.

This is primarily a training post, with associated responsibility of the faculty team leader and Sanger Institute to ensure training is delivered.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in relevant wet-lab subject (e.g. Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology)
  • Experience in fluorescent microscopy
  • Experience in histology (in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry)
  • Excellent communication skills to allow efficient interactions with collaborators
  • Understanding of ethics of working with human tissue samples
  • Experimental troubleshooting skills
  • Excellent planning skills
  • Ability to work with others in a friendly and collegiate environment

Ideal Skills

  • Experience in mammalian brain histology and neuroanatomy knowledge 
  • Experience with highly-multiplexed RNA hybridization or sequencing 
  • Experience with image data analysis 

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: 2nd September 2018