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Postdoctoral Scientist Bioinformatician

The Pirbright Institute - Immunogenetics

Location: Woking
Salary: Band E; from £40,374 with higher remuneration considered depending on experience and qualifications
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 6th October 2021
Closes: 17th November 2021
Job Ref: 21P-131

Directorate: Science

Department: Immunogenetics

Pay Band and Salary Range: Band E; from £40,374 with higher remuneration considered depending on experience and qualifications

Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment till 31/09/2024

Application Closing Date: 17/11/2021

The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute delivers world-leading research to understand, predict, detect and respond to viral disease outbreaks. We study viruses of livestock that are endemic and exotic to the UK, including zoonotic viruses, by using the most advanced tools and technologies to understand host[1]pathogen interactions in animals and arthropod vectors.

Organisation position and purpose:

This post is funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant aiming to defining the fine specificity of antibody responses in livestock to inform vaccine development. The research will involve refining the analysis of existing and future high-throughput sequencing data to examine the overall antibody response to vaccination and infection in cattle, buffalo, pigs and chickens. Established workflows will then be made available to as wide a range of collaborators as possible.

Main duties and responsibility

Responsible for combining different datasets to identify pathogen-specific immune responses (75%):

  • Characterise and compare antibody transcripts from high-throughput sequencing data obtained with different platforms (Illumina MiSeq and NextSeq; 10X chromium-generated data, occasionally Sanger sequencing), using existing pipelines.
  • Adapt and optimise existing pipelines to multiple livestock species (cattle, buffalo, pigs and chickens).
  • Combine single-cell transcriptomic, antibody NGS sequencing, and mass spectrometry datasets to select B cell antigens of interest and characterize antigen specific B cell subsets.
  • Keep up to date with new pipelines and software.
  • Contribute to a linked team working on structural vaccinology.

Integration of analytical tools within the immunological toolbox website (20%):

  • Help maintain the Immunological toolbox website and Pirbright Antibody Hub page.
  • Integrate example datasets on the website.
  • Integrate developed tools for community access.

Contribute to the overall Immunogenetics group (5%):

  • Maintain datasets
  • Produce presentations
  • Publish manuscripts as appropriate

Personal specification

  • Results driven with a clear ability to drive and organise multiple projects.
  • Good collaboration skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Able to problem solve and be creative in generating a solution whilst also able to perform the same activity in a consistent manner.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Critical mind.

Specific requirements


  • A PhD or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Significant and relevant experience in a recognised R&D environment
  • Experience with high-throughput sequencing data analysis
  • Knowledge of Unix and Linux operating systems
  • Strong experience in at least one programming language
  • Strong experience in building and deploying distributed pipelines for data science
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • A publication records commensurate to the applicant’s career stage


  • A good understanding or experience of working with either antibodies or other variable immune genes
  • Experience of molecular biology
  • Experience working with a high-performance cluster
  • Experience in 10X chromium-generated data analysis
  • Experience proteomics data analysis
  • Experience in website development and maintenance

To apply for this vacancy please visit our careers page - Jobs | The Pirbright Institute

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