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Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Biology (Haematological Cancer Genetics)

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

Fixed term for 3 years

We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow to develop computational approaches for identifying individuals at risk of developing haematological malignancies using DNA sequencing data and high-throughput blood cell analysis from hundreds to thousands of individuals. The ultimate aim is to develop a robust approach for early detection of pre-leukaemia to drive future programmes for leukaemia prevention.

We recently reported that a significant proportion of individuals at high risk of developing acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) can be identified many years in advance (Abelson et al, Nature 2018). We also found that those at risk of AML displayed subtle changes in routine blood count parameters. The successful applicant will combine DNA sequencing with data from state-of-the-art haematology analysers and blood cell image analysis to augment our ability to identify individuals at risk of AML and related cancers.

You will have strong data analysis skills, be able to think around scientific questions creatively and feel comfortable interacting with other interdisciplinary team members, internal and external collaborators. You will be based within the Vassiliou Group (Sanger) and work closely with the computational cancer biology research group (Moritz Gerstung) at the European Bioinformatics Institute EMBL-EBI.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in a relevant subject area (Physics, Computer Science, Engineering, Statistics, Mathematics, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics) 
  • Experience in formulating statistical models and applying them to real data 
  • Full working proficiency in a scripting language (e.g. R, Python, Perl) 
  • Full working proficiency in UNIX/Linux 
  • Ability to communicate ideas and results effectively 
  • Ability to work independently and organise own workload 
  • Ability to work as part of a team 
  • Motivation to understand how leukaemia/cancer develops 

Ideal Skills

  • Strong publishing record 
  • Ability to devise novel quantitative models, use relevant mathematics-heavy literature 
  • Knowledge of genomics and molecular biology 
  • Previous experience with data from high throughput assays 
  • Previous experience with data from genetic screens 
  • Previous experience in creating finished software 
  • Full working proficiency in a compiled language (e.g. C, C++, D, Fortran) 
  • Previous experience with implementing–omics data analysis pipelines on a cluster 

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: 4th September 2018