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Research Associate: (Computational) - Single Cell Analyses of Developmental Trajectories

University of Cambridge - Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £32,816 to £40,322
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 20th September 2019
Closes: 21st October 2019
Job Ref: PR20736

We seek a computational postdoctoral scientist to join Professor Julie Ahringer's laboratory to use single cell profiling to study genome regulation across developmental trajectories in collaboration with the laboratory of John Marioni. Our research programme uses the powerful model organism C. elegans to uncover general principles of eukaryotic chromatin regulation in an in vivo developmental context (

A single-celled totipotent zygote produces a multitude of different cell types, where cells undergo zygotic genome activation, lineage selection and refinement, and the engagement of differentiation programmes. However, the cell-to-cell genome regulation that drives these events is poorly understood. Combining single-cell profiling with the known lineage of C. elegans makes it feasible to determine the locus-specific regulation of chromatin, gene expression, and nuclear organisation in every single cell from the zygote to the differentiated state. This project will analyse single cell profiles over complete developmental trajectories to determine genome regulatory changes between mother and daughter cells that drive developmental decisions and their expression. The work will explore the use of factor analysis models for integrating the multifaceted datasets.

You have experience in scientific programming and the analysis of Illumina sequencing data, good knowledge of statistics, and a sound understanding of molecular biology. You will also, be motivated and organised with excellent verbal and written communication skills as evidenced by publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals, and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Candidates should have (or be about to receive) a PhD in a relevant discipline and have a capacity to apply initiative and creativity to solve biological problems.

The Gurdon Institute is a world-renowned centre of Developmental biology and Cancer research embedded in the University of Cambridge. It is supported by funding from the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, and provides an exceptional and stimulating environment that promotes collaborative and interdisciplinary research in a supportive and modern setting, with access to state-of-the-art technologies such as super-resolution imaging, single-cell analyses, genome engineering, and genomics and computer modelling. Its postdoc association encourages scientific and social interactions and also provides career development and teaching opportunities.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV (including the names of two people who can provide a letter of reference) in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline your research interests and why you are interested in the post.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Emma Gant at

Please quote reference PR20736 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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