Research Associate

King's College London - Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, School of Life Course Sciences

The salary will be paid at Grade 6 £33,518 – £35,550 per annum, plus £2,923 per annum London Allowance.

This post will be Fixed Term for 24 months.

This is a Full-time post.

We are seeking a talented, ambitious and highly skilled postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London. The ideal candidate should have a strong background in gene expression analysis, and additionally one of the following fields: microbiome analysis, genomics, statistical genetics. The post holder will work on a highly novel MRC funded grant investigating the interaction between host transcriptomics and the gut microbiome at the colonic mucosal interface in 100 identical twin pairs from the TwinsUK Resource. Thus they will work across two closely linked dynamic research groups in the department; the first, led by Kerrin Small investigates the genomics of regulatory variation and its role in complex traits; second led by Claire Steves investigates the role of microbiome in human health and ageing within an established multi-disciplinary transnational research consortium in human microbiomics.

The project involves work on RNAseq and microbiome data collected from the termina ileum, proximal and distal colon biopsies from healthy twin volunteers. The project will link functional microbial networks with colonic mucosal gene expression networks in the human intestine and blood, using the twin design to control for host genetic effects. As well as testing key hypotheses relating gene expression changes to microbial composition the post holder will help create a resource of the interactions of the microbiota with the local immune system across the distal gut and comparison with microbes obtained from stools.

This work builds on previous work from our groups that established the presence of host genetic impacts on the human microbiome (Goodrich et al. 2014, Cell; Goodrich et al. 2016 Cell Host Microbes), and links to medication use, clinical traits, and environmental exposures (Jackson et al. 2016, Gut, Jackson 2016 Genome Medicine), as well as genetic and environmental influences on multi-tissue transcriptomes, including Gene x Environment eQTLs (Glastonbury et al 2016, Vinuela et al 2017). The project will also have access to the unique multi-dimensional dataset collected on over 2,500 deeply phenotyped twins with available faecal microbiome 16S data, where sample subsets include individuals with metagenomics, whole genome sequence, epigenetic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic profiles.

The post is available for 24 months

Applicants should have a strong computational background and expertise in dealing with transcriptomic data sets. A background and interest in human microbiome studies or genomics would be highly advantageous.

The selection process will include a panel interview. For an informal discussion to find out more about the role please contact Dr. Kerrin Small at

To apply for this role, please go to the King’s College London HireWire Job Board and register to download and submit the specified application form.

The deadline for applications is midnight on 25 April 2018.

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