Wellcome Sanger Institute

Postdoctoral Fellow - Respiratory Virus and Microbiome Initiative

Wellcome Sanger Institute – PhD

About the Role:

Would you like to help shape the future of pathogen surveillance? We have an exciting opportunity for a Computational Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF), who is passionate about respiratory viruses and the microbiome and excited about the goals of our institute, to be based in the Team led by Dr Ewan Harrison at the Wellcome Sanger Institute for 3 years fixed term.

About Us:

One of the biggest challenges in the battle against infectious disease is that pathogens are continually evolving. Genomic surveillance involves sequencing the genetic material of pathogenic microbes and their vectors so that evolutionary changes that affect transmission, disease severity and susceptibility to treatment can be observed.

The Respiratory Virus and Microbiome Initiative (RVI) is a new initiative with the Parasites and Microbes (PaM) programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. RVI aims to establish the next generation sequencing methods for routine genomic surveillance of respiratory viruses and other pathogens, including during a future epidemic/pandemic.

As a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Harrison team, you will join a dynamic and collaborative multi-disciplinary team with expertise in performing sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, and laboratory investigations.

You will play a key role in the successful delivery of RVI’s goals:

  • Generation of knowledge on the transmission and evolution of known respiratory viruses and other pathogens.
  • Generate further understanding of respiratory virus diversity and biology to inform early warning systems for new pandemic threats.
  • Generate new understanding of respiratory microbiome dynamics and how this influences health and infection, including understanding colonisation by members of the respiratory microbiota.
  • Tracking and understanding pathogen evolution in the respiratory tract at a population level.

The post and data generated as part of the RVI would be an ideal opportunity for candidates who are keen to develop your research ideas. We are keen to provide such opportunity through supporting you with developing fellowship applications and other funding avenues.

About You:

This key computational postdoctoral fellowship provides an exciting opportunity to lead projects working with collaborators, from different sectors, on a national scale. You will conduct original research and contribute to the development of sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of RVI. This role is an opportunity to contribute to a large-scale pathogen genomics programme led by Dr Ewan Harrison, to conduct analysis on large scale and novel datasets, and to help shape the future of pathogen surveillance.

As a member of the Harrison team, you will join a team engaged in generating, processing, analysing and interpreting genomic data at scale and establishing capabilities for large-scale genomic surveillance of respiratory viruses. You will be passionate about science and motivated to make an impact on pathogen surveillance and generating knowledge on the transmission and evolution of respiratory viruses and other pathogens. As a member of the Harrison team, you will work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders integral to the project's progress. You will have strong understanding of computational biology and large pathogen data sets.

You will be part of a vibrant international Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) community at the Sanger Institute with a wide programme of transferable skills training and excellent career development opportunities. For more information about being a Postdoctoral Fellow - please visit: https://youtu.be/1-vxm2nBmFA. You will be expected to seek appropriate training, including taking an active part in any training programmes organised for postdoctoral fellows.

Technical Skills:

  • PhD in and relevant experience in (e.g. viral genomics, pathogen genomics, metagenomics) or equivalent qualification in Biological Sciences
  • Experience in high throughout computational biology
  • Experience in handling, processing large pathogen data sets
  • Attention to detail when performing routine tasks
  • Experience in programming (Python, R, etc.)
  • Experience in statistical analysis
  • Ability to test, implement and troubleshoot new approaches and techniques

Competencies and Behaviours:

  • Thorough record keeping, with strong organisational and communication skills, and good work ethic
  • Motivation and ambition to make a personal contribution to the RVI and pathogen research
  • A team player who enjoys working with others in a friendly and collegiate manner
  • Ability to build collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrates inclusivity and respect for all

Other information

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

Salary: £35,707 - £44,712

Closing Date: 10th April 2023

For further information on the actual PDF position please contact pam-recruit@sanger.ac.uk if you have any queries on the recruitment and application process please contact recruit@sanger.ac.uk