Postdoctoral Fellow

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Biological Sciences

Fixed term for 2 years

The Sanger Institute Malaria Programme generates and analyses large-scale genome datasets in order to understand how Plasmodium genetics affects the biology and epidemiology of malaria, with a particular focus on host-parasite interactions. Interactions between Plasmodium and host proteins are of interest both for their fundamental biology, controlling for example which Plasmodium species are able to infect which hosts or which individuals develop severe or uncomplicated malaria, and because they are potential intervention targets, particularly for vaccine development. The Sanger Institute Malaria Programme uses a range of large-scale approaches, including protein-protein interaction screens, large-scale genetic studies and genome sequencing, to identify and study novel host-parasite interactions, such as that between the major Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidate PfRH5 and its human receptor Basigin. Understanding the functional impact of variation in these interactions is key to understanding the biological story of human-parasite coevolution, as well as accelerating the process of vaccine development.

There is now an opening for a post-doctoral fellow to work in the Rayner lab to use the latest genetic, genomic and molecular tools to identify and investigate host-parasite interactions during Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte stages. The postdoctoral fellows will develop and apply approaches such as CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, quantitative mass spectrometry, RNAseq, and P. falciparum erythrocyteinvasion and phenotyping assays. The projects will require working closely with other group members at the Sanger Institute and also partners in the USA and in malaria endemic countries. The successful candidates will be independent, self-starters, and keen to make the most of this exciting opportunity. While these are funded positions, we believe that the rich biology has many possibilities for the development of new independent projects, and career development and support are a key element of the role.

Essential Skills

  • PhD in experimental analysis of Plasmodium parasites (E);
  • Strong technical skills in phenotyping and/or genetic manipulation of Plasmodium parasites, as evidenced by publication record (E);
  • Outstanding communication skills, to ensure good interactions across multiple research teams; able to communicate effectively about complex technical matters with both experts and non-experts (E);
  • Excellent organization and record keeping skills (E);
  • Independence and motivation, a self-starter and problem solver (E);
  • Focussed and inspirational approach to leadership, setting the standard for others to follow (E);
  • Ability to deliver high-quality scientific outputs (E);

Ideal Skills

  • Experience performing lab-based experimental projects in malaria endemic settings (D)

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.

To help researchers to develop their skills and networks, the Institute hosts a range of scientific seminars with internal and invited speakers, scientific group meetings and skills development workshops.

Our Benefits include: Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, Group Income Protection, Healthcare scheme, Childcare Vouchers, Workplace Nursery and 25 days Annual Leave, increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30, plus Bank Holidays. We also have a gym, two cafes, dining facilities, and a free campus bus service. Our thriving Sports and Social Club provides many opportunities to meet with people working across the campus.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.  

Closing date for applications: 18th December 2017, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.