Postdoc position available – cancer and development

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 cancer and developmental transcriptomics and genetics to join Sam Behjati’s group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Our group seeks to charaterise the developmental origins of cancer and the role of these processes in defining the disease.  We have a particular interest in childhood cancer, where the link to development is most pronounced.  To perform this research, we make use of recent advances technological advances, such as (but not limited to): single cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, and combined single cell genome, transcriptome and methylome sequencing.  Although our ultimate goal is to charaterise and understand human cancers, it is crucial to characterise the corresponding normal tissues as a reference with which to compare the disease state.  To this end, we are significant contributors to the Human Cell Atlas and the Human Developmental Cell Atlas projects, which will provide a comprehensive atlas of the single cells that make human body across the human life span.

You will lead an exciting research project constructing a transcriptomic map of developing adrenals at single cell resolution and linking these cells to neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest cancers of childhood.  Your primary objectives will be to 1) analyse single cell RNA-seq data to characterise the cell types present in developing bone, define trajectories and suggest validation stratergies/experiments to confirm your findings 2) apply and devolp methods to map the cell types and states of developmental bone onto both bulk and single cell RNA sequencing of bone tumours.  You will also be responsible for managing the project.

Our group is also involved in a wide variety of other projects ranging from the charaterisation of immune cells in juvenial psoriatic arthritis to the investigation of allele specific biases in expression in mutational processes.  While the adrenal project will be your main focus, as a key part of our group you will have the opportunity to make important contributions to the full range of research our group is engaged in.

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. You will be encouraged to participate in the design and planning of the group’s new projects.

 Essential Skills

  • PhD in relevant quantitive discipline (e.g. Computational Biology, Genetics, Bioinformatics, Physics, Engineering or Mathematics)
  • Experience analysing high-throughput sequencing data
  • Experience preparing scientific papers
  • Experience programming in high level scripting languages (preferably R or python)
  • Excellent communication skills to allow efficient interactions with collaborators
  • Understanding of ethics of working with human tissue samples
  • Excellent planning skills
  • Ability to work with others in a friendly and collegiate environment

Ideal Skills

  • Knowledge of cancer biology, developmental biology
  • Experience analysing droplet based (e.g. 10X) single cell RNA-sequencing data
  • Experience developing statistical methods for the analysis of large data sets, particularly constrained generalized linear models and machine learning methods such as regularised logistic regression, decision trees, or support vector machines.

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

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