Postdoctoral Fellow

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Computer Science

Fixed term - 2 years.

The post-holder will join a dynamic team at the Sanger Institute that has produced a large open data resources on Plasmodiumgenome variation and population genetics, and is continually working to improve the resolution and geographic coverage of the data in partnership with research groups around the world.  A key objective of the role will be to perform a detailed and comprehensive analysis of natural genetic variation in a wide range of candidate vaccine antigens in different geographical locations and epidemiological settings, and to make the findings easily accessible and of practical utility to vaccine developers and the research community. 

This is a challenging analytical problem since many malaria antigens are under strong diversifying selection, resulting in extremely complex forms of genetic variation that make it impossible to align sequence reads to a single reference genome.  The role will therefore involve the use of multiple reference genomes, reference-free variant calling, population reference graphs, long sequence read technologies and other cutting-edge tools for analysis of complex genome variation.  The post-holder will work closely with colleagues at Sanger, EBI and Oxford who are developing these methodologies and applying them to a wide range of problems in malaria epidemiology and host-parasite evolution.

The post-holder will also interact with researchers at Sanger Institute and the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust in Kenya who are conducting laboratory and field studies related to malaria vaccine development.  This will include the design of recombinant antigens for antibody screening in controlled studies of human malaria infection, and prioritisation of novel vaccine candidates by combining experimental datasets with large-scale population genomic data.

Essential Skills

  • PhD in statistics, population genetics or other relevant area of quantitative analysis
  • Strong skills in computer programming for advanced statistical analysis and large-scale data management
  • Knowledge and experience in population genetics evidenced by publication record; including specific expertise in Plasmodium population genetics
  • Ability to execute complex analytical projects involving multiple partners
  • Ability to deliver high-quality scientific outputs
  • Ability to lead an area of work and to work effectively with colleagues leading other areas of work within a team environment
  • Ability to communicate effectively about complex technical matters with both technical experts and non-specialists

Other information

The Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. We use state of the art large-scale genomic approaches to drive world-leading projects to uncover the basis of genetic and infectious disease. Our goal is to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

The Institute is located near Cambridge, UK on the stunning Wellcome Genome Campus. This growing and dynamic site is the British hub of genomic science. It hosts the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Open Targets, a Biodata Innovation Centre and will soon host Genomics England Limited’s 100,000 Genomes Sequencing Centre. The Campus is also home to Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science. Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation and supports learning by drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Campus. Its mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.  

Applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.

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South East England