Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Bioinformatician)

Queen Mary University of London - Barts Cancer Institute - Centre for Tumour Biology

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Bioinformatician)

Applications are sought for an exceptional Postdoctoral Research Assistant to undertake genetic and phenotypic investigations into the evolution of Barrett’s oesopahagus to cancer using a bioinformatic and modeling strategy. They will work under the supervision of Dr Stuart McDonald, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Clonal Dynamics in Epithelia laboratory, in order to realise the objectives of a Cancer Research UK funded programme grant predicting risk of cancer development in patients with Barrett’s oesophagus. This is a multidisciplinary group that includes wet lab scientists, bioinformaticians and clinicians.

Barrett’s oesophagus is the major precursor lesion of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) in the UK. OAC has a poor survival rate and Barrett’s is common but conversion to cancer is rare (0.3% of patients). All Barrett’s patients undergo regular endoscopic surveillance for signs of cancer, which is both invasive and expensive, but there are no prognostic biomarkers available to predict cancer risk therefore surveillance is life-long. We believe that this is because we do not understand the evolution of Barrett’s to cancer. We are seeking an experienced post doctoral scientist to investigate how Barrett’s glands evolve, investigating the clonal relationships between glands with the intent of developing a predictive model of cancer risk. Experience in bioinformatics and modeling is desirable in order to perform novel analysis of genomic data acquired from a cohort of Barrett’s patients followed over time that have or have not progressed to cancer in order to determine evolutionary patterns that can predict cancer risk. The successful candidate will be expected to help drive the direction of the project and develop novel analytical approaches to the research question.

The research will be based in the Centre for Tumour Biology, Barts Cancer Institute, within the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

Essential requirements for this post include a PhD in a relevant bioinformatics, mathematics or biological subject (with a significant component of analyzing and modeling big data) and an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. Significant research experience in bioinformatics or genetic analysis or modelling is desirable. Experience in the field of the evolution of premalignant disease to cancer would be an advantage. Furthermore, an appropriate publication record is essential. A demonstrated ability to communicate well, work within a team and maintain good laboratory records are also essential.

The post is for 3 years (with a further 3 years upon successful programme renewal). Benefits include 30 days annual leave, a defined benefit pension scheme and an interest free season ticket loan.

The Barts Cancer Institute requires applicants to provide all certificates at interview to confirm their qualifications (specified in the job description). Please be aware there are specific job descriptions for each post.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Informal enquiries about this post, including arrangements to visit the Institute/Centre are encouraged and can be made to Dr Stuart McDonald Tel: 0207 882 3800 or email

Details about Barts Cancer Institute:

Interviews are likely to be held in January 2017. It is expected the position will commence as soon as possible.

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