Advanced Research Assistant

Open Targets

Salary range: £26,960-£32,622 per annum depending on experience plus excellent benefits.

Fixed Term Contract for 3 Years.

A position is available for a talented Advanced Research Assistant within the Genomics of Inflammation and Immunity group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, headed by Dr. Carl Anderson ( This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to join an interdisciplinary, high collaborative team of clinicians, academics and drug discovery researchers. The successful candidate will apply 10X Genomics single cell RNA-sequencing of gut biopsies ascertained from 160 inflammatory bowel disease patients and 300 healthy controls. The goal of the project is to identify genetic variants that are associated with gene expression in intestinal cells, and then combine these with IBD GWAS data to identify potential novel drug targets for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The project is funded by Open Targets, a public-private initiative between the Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI), EMBL-EBI, GlaxoSmithKline, Biogen, Celgene, Takeda, Sanofi to combine large-scale genomic experiments with statistical and computational methods to identify and validate the causal links between targets, pathways and diseases.

The successful candidate will be based at the WSI, within the laboratory of Dr. Carl Anderson ( and will work closely on the project with Dr. Rebecca McIntyre (Senior Staff Scientist), with scientific input from senior scientists based at Celgene, GSK and Takeda. The post-holder will liaise with clinical teams at Addenbrooke’s hospital on the acquisition of fresh samples, dissociate tissues to single cells, prepare cells for single cell RNA-sequencing using the Chromium Controller (10X Genomics) and will liaise with WSI core pipelines regarding Illumina library preparation and sequencing.

We welcome candidates with a background in cellular and molecular biology, with experience in dissociating tissues to single cells. A flexible attitude to working hours during the week would be advantageous. The candidate will have the opportunity to interact with other researchers at the Sanger Institute and the industrial partners.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Masters or equivalent qualification in Biological Sciences
  • Minimum of 6 months experience in handling mammalian cells (culture and/or tissue dissociation)
  • Experience of core molecular biology techniques e.g. PCR, RT-PCR
  • Strict adherence to SOPs and attention to detail when performing routine tasks
  • Excellent record keeping, organisational and communication skills, and work ethic
  • Excellent team worker

Ideal Skills

  • Experience in dissociating tissues to single cells
  • Experience in using the 10X Genomics Chromium controller

Other information

Open Targets is a pioneering public-private initiative between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Biogen, Takeda, Celgene, Sanofi, EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) and the WSI (Wellcome Sanger Institute), located on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK.

Open Targets aims to generate evidence on the biological validity of therapeutic targets and provide an initial assessment of the likely effectiveness of pharmacological intervention on these targets, using genome-scale experiments and analysis. Open Targets aims to provide an R&D framework that applies to all aspects of human disease, to improve the success rate for discovering new medicines and share its data openly in the interests of accelerating drug discovery.

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 and Campus Nursery
  • 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 hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.

Closing date: 18th March 2019, however applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.