Wellcome Sanger Institute

Computational Postdoctoral Fellow - Single Cell Genomics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Wellcome Sanger Institute

Do you want to help us improve human health and understand life on Earth? Make your mark by shaping the future to enable or deliver life-changing science to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

About the role:

We are looking for a Computational Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) to be responsible for the analysis of our large-scale single-cell genomics studies of inflammatory bowel disease. It is a 3-year fixed term fellowship within the Genomics of Inflammation and Immunity group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI), headed by Dr. Carl Anderson.

About us:

We are a multidisciplinary team consisting of statistical geneticists, molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, computer scientists, students, and clinicians. We generate and analyse large-scale genetic and genomic datasets to better understand the biological basis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We undertake both computational and wet lab research. This enables us to deploy a variety of approaches at scale (currently whole genome/exome sequencing, single-cell genomics, CRISPR screens and mucosal organoid derivation) to identify novel candidate drug targets and catalyse personalised medicine for IBD.

Embedded within the Human Genetics Programme at the Sanger Institute, we provide a collaborative, supportive and cutting-edge research environment. We have a strong emphasis on personal development and career progression. You will be given time and encouragement to seek personal development opportunities and begin establishing your pathway to independence. We encourage networking and provide many opportunities to showcase your research, both internally and externally. The Human Genetics Operations and Informatics teams provide comprehensive multidisciplinary support to help with everything from sample processing to data analysis pipelines, and assistance with funding applications. The Sanger Institute also supports PDFs by offering various training opportunities, chances to network, and has a PDF committee in place to ensure our PDFs are supported throughout their posts. For more information about being a Postdoctoral Fellow - please visit: https://youtu.be/1-vxm2nBmFA.

You will be responsible for:

You will use your computational and statistical skills to lead the analysis of a large single-cell genomics study aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning IBD susceptibility. We are generating single-cell RNA and/or ATAC sequencing data from gut biopsies and blood samples ascertained from hundreds of IBD patients and non-IBD controls. Data is already available for around 200 individuals, with more being generated over the next four years. You will use these data to identify genes, pathways and cell-types associated with IBD susceptibility, progression and drug response. Genetics data is available for all sample donors, so you will also map genetic variants associated with gene regulation to draw causal insights into disease pathogenesis. You will form part of a collaborative team of experts in genetics, genomics, immunology and gastroenterology to draw causal insights into disease pathogenesis and drug response.

About you:

You have a background in computational genomics applied to large-scale gene expression data, preferably single cell RNA sequencing. You have both an attention to detail and an ability to place your research in the broader scientific context. You work effectively within a multidisciplinary team while also being able to work independently and manage your time effectively. You enjoy scientific writing and presenting your research. In this role you will work closely together with scientists from the Open Targets pharmaceutical partners (Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech, GSK, Pfizer, and Sanofi), making this position particularly well-suited for you if you are self-motivated with good communication skills who is looking to make a personal contribution to genomic research at the interface of academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

Essential skills:

  • Ability to work with others in a collegiate and collaborative environment.

  • Motivation and ambition to make a personal contribution to genomic research.

  • A PhD in a relevant subject (functional genomics, computer science, statistical genetics).

  • Experience leading large-scale data science projects.

  • Experience with analysis of genotype, sequence or functional genomic data.

  • Experience with computer programming & scripting.

  • Experience and enjoyment of scientific writing.

  • Attention to detail and a drive for rigour.

  • Demonstrates inclusivity and respect for all

Other information:

Salary per annum: £35,707-£44,712

Closing Date: 26th February 2023

Application Process:

Please apply with your CV and a Cover Letter outlining how you meet the criteria set out above.

About Open Targets:

Open Targets is a pioneering public-private partnership between European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Sanger), Sanofi, Pfizer and Bristol Meyers Squibb (BMS), located at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK.

Open Targets brings together expertise from five complementary institutions to generate evidence on the biological validity of therapeutic targets and provide an initial assessment of the likely effectiveness of pharmacological intervention on these targets, using genome-scale experiments and analysis. Open Targets aims to provide an R&D framework that applies to all aspects of human disease to improve the success rate of discovering new medicines and share data openly in the interest of accelerating drug discovery.

Working at Wellcome Sanger:

Our flexible-hybrid working environment is designed to support a healthy work-life balance. This means you can work flexibly with a combination of working from home, and working from our Campus to allow you to focus on being productive and part of the team while enjoying the benefits of working flexibly.

We aim to attract, recruit, retain and develop talent from the widest possible talent pool, thereby gaining insight and access to different markets to generate a greater impact on the world. We have a supportive culture with the following staff networks, LGBTQ+, Parents and Carers and Race Equity to bring people together to share experiences, offer specific support and development opportunities and raise awareness. The networks are also a place for allies to provide support to others.

We want our people to be whoever they want to be because we believe people who bring their best selves to work, do their best work. That’s why we’re committed to creating a truly inclusive culture at Sanger Institute. We will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Our Benefits:

We are proud to deliver an awarding campus-wide employee wellbeing strategy and programme. The importance of good health and adopting a healthier lifestyle and the commitment to reduce work-related stress is strongly acknowledged and recognised at Sanger Institute.