Postdoctoral Fellow in Schistosome Genomics

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Biological Sciences

Fixed-term for 3 years

In the Parasite genomics group, we use large-scale sequencing approaches to study parasitic diseases of global importance, with a particular emphasis on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We are particularly focusing on the biology of schistosomes, one of the most important and neglected parasites, which infects 250 million of the world’s poorest people.  

We are seeking an enthusiastic and ambitious postdoctoral fellow to work on the evolutionary genomics of Schistosoma and related schistosomatids. You will take advantage of recent advances in rapidly producing high-quality assemblies and utilize our recently completed high-quality assemblies of schistosome autosomes and sex chromosomes. Using large-scale comparative genomics of schistosomes, you will identify genomic features shared across different evolutionary scales and find lineage-specific differences associated with different host tropisms and other traits.

Our lab generates extensive functional genomic data for S. mansoni and you will be able to take advantage of the Institute’s world-leading expertise and resources for genome sequencing and mapping. The ongoing functional genomics work in the group means that it will be possible to collaborate with other members of the team to test hypotheses arising from in silico work.

The exact project will depend on the skills and interests of successful applicant, but could include:

  • Identify conserved non-coding elements and investigate their evolution across divergent schistosomatids.
  • Investigate the genomic basis of convergent host tropism between two different mammalian-infective lineages (Schistosomatiumand Schistosoma) that are independently derived from avian-infective ancestors 
  • Reconstruct the evolution of schistosome sex chromosomes and understand the movement of genes between sex chromosomes and autosomes. (Schistosome are unusual amongst parasitic flatworms, in having evolved dioecy and a ZW sex determination system.)

Key responsibilities:

  • To develop, drive and deliver cutting edge research on the genome biology of schistosomes
  • Assembly and annotation of genomic sequence data, leading to the preparation of manuscripts for publication
  • Development and validation of novel analytical methods where required
  • Effective communication with collaborators and colleagues and through presentation at international meetings
  • Design of spin-off research projects and follow-up studies

Essential Skills

  • Strong track record of academic achievement, including a PhD or equivalent in a relevant biological subject
  • Experience and strong technical skills in genomics or bioinformatics and ideally in some combination of these disciplines
  • Strong working knowledge of statistical analysis
  • Excellent problem solving skills     
  • Demonstrable experience and initiative in developing and leading projects
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Ideal Skills

  • Experience of working on schistosomes
  • Detailed understanding of molecular biology
  • Experience collaborating with field researchers, epidemiologists or clinicians
  • Experience in combining computational and laboratory work
  • Experience of working with next-generation sequencing data
  • Experience working in a Unix computing environment
  • Up to date knowledge of relevant scientific literature
  • Good organisational/project management skills

Other information

Postdoctoral Fellows are typically in their first or second postdoctoral position as part of a period of early career research training. Successful applicant(s) who have submitted their PhD thesis and are awaiting their PhD award are encouraged to apply. 

Closing date for applications: 7th September 2017. Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.

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South East England